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Over the last few months, we have been interviewing researchers who attended the the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction conference (or, more simply, EARLI) for the special interest group on Neuroscience and Education (@EarliSIG22). We enjoyed recording these interviews so much that we decided to do another one!
Alex Chamessian first wrote to us about a year ago - almost immediately after we released our first podcast episode. An MD-PhD candidate at Duke, Alex has been passionate about effective learning for years. He started using spaced repetition in 2010 in my first year of medical school, and when he noticed the benefits, he did a deep dive into more evidence-based practices, starting first with a blog, then a book. Alex asked if he could appear on our podcast, but at the time that he was writing, we hadn’t figured out whether - let alone how - we would conduct podcast interviews! A year later, Yana and Alex finally got together over Skype to record this interview.
In our conversation, we discuss the following questions:
Why/how did Alex get interested in learning strategies in medical school, and end up writing a blog and book on the subject?
Do students need to understand the reasons why effective strategies work, or is it enough for them just to experience their effectiveness?
Apart from medical school and classes and exams, how is Alex planning on applying effective learning strategies in his medical practice?
And what about in his PhD - are there strategies also effective for being a successful scholar?