Art of Learning Series

September – November, 2023
Wednesdays, 16:15 to 17:45 (CEST)
Kilen, room 146

Learning isn’t just something that happens to you at school; it is an art you master and practice throughout your life. From late September to early November, 2023, I will be holding a series of informal talks about the learning process. How can you get the most out of the resources and opportunities that a modern university setting provides? How can you acquire the knowledge you need, not just to pass your courses, but to succeed in your career?

Each talk lasts about one hour and there is plenty of time for questions at the end.

I held the same series in 2022 and the talks were recorded. You can see the videos by following the links below.

How to Know Things (September 20). Knowledge isn’t just something we have, it’s something we use. We are knowledge-able — both able-to-know and enabled-by-knowing. In this talk we’ll go through the philosophical, rhetorical, and literary components of this competence, providing you with a framework to ensure that you actually come to know the things your are trying to learn. [Video and notes.]

How to Read (September 27). Reading is an important part of learning. Indeed, in Danish we don’t “go to university” we “read at university”, we don’t “study marketing”, we “read marketing”. In this talk, we’ll get into how to decide what to read, how to find good reading material, and how to read the texts you find (and are told to read by your teachers) effectively. [Video and notes.]

How to Think (October 3). In order to learn anything at all you have to make up your mind about what you think is true. You can’t know something if you don’t believe it, and you shouldn’t believe it if you don’t understand it. Our ability to reason therefore plays an essential role in the learning process. In this talk, we’ll cover some basic strategies to help you get the most out of your thinking. [Video and notes.]

How to Write (October 11). In a university setting, you don’t truly know something if you can’t write a coherent prose paragraph about it in under half an hour. If you develop this ability as part of your day-to-day learning process you will not regret the effort. In this talk, we’ll discuss the best way to train yourself to reliably produce clear prose about things you know. [Video and notes.]

How to Listen (October 25). Given the amount of time we spend in lectures and seminars at university, it should come as no surprise that the ability to listen plays a crucial role in determining our learning outcomes. But how do we get the most out of a 45-minute lecture or a 15-minute presentation? In this talk, we’ll cover some basic tools to help you retain what you hear, in and out of class. [Video and notes.]

How to Talk (November 1). Academics do a lot of talking. In fact, the ability to participate in conversations with other knowledgeable people is a defining part of the competence of knowing something. In this talk we’ll talk about the importance of talking. [Video and notes.]

How to Enjoy Things (November 8). Being good at something means knowing how to enjoy it. It would be tragic if you graduated from your program with excellent grades but no love for the subject you have spent years learning to master. In this talk, we’ll go through a few simple strategies to help you experience the pleasure of learning and remember the satisfaction that school also provides. [Video and notes.]

How to Know Things Again (November 15). [Register here.] It’s true that we forget many of the individual things we learn during our studies. That’s why it’s perhaps more important to remember how we learned them. In this talk we’ll revisit the competence we talked about in the first talk, but from the perspective how to use our full understanding of the “art of learning” to maintain a both learn-ed and learn-ing posture in the world. [Video and notes from 2022.]