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Make it 2 chapters

Make it Stick. Learn better and remember longer.


Hi everyone,


Well it is orientation week here and that means school starts on Monday. That is both exciting and a little nerve-racking. So let’s finish up the discussion on the book, Make it Stick, so you can pick your favorite discussion topics to apply to your studies this fall.


Chapter 7 — Increase Your Abilities


Intellectual abilities are commonly thought to be set from birth by our genetic wiring, but science is finding the brain is surprisingly mutable: Effortful learning builds new connections and mental abilities. Evidence suggests the path to expert performance may rely more on discipline and persistence than on genetic gifts. Memory athletes using mental tools for organizing large bodies of information are now performing astonishing feats of recall. In sum, our intellectual abilities are to a considerable degree ours to shape. Learners who adopt a growth mindset and show grit prove more successful in school and in their later pursuits.


My favorite story in this chapter is where they discuss the “Marshmallow Test”. Have you heard about this experiment? It is all about delayed gratification. Experimenters have found that the better your delayed gratification is the more success you will have in school and life. That really isn’t a surprise. You have likely delayed a lot of gratification to focus your efforts on your goals. You will need to continue that focus and self-discipline here!


You’ve also likely heard a lot about grow mindset and grit. Don’t buy into the failed notion that you have a set level of intelligence. If you find yourself struggling on a particular subject while you are here – don’t tell yourself, “I am just not good at “X”. Instead, find a different way to approach and study the material. This goes hand in hand with the research that has been done on resilience and grit. See how you rate on the GRIT scale (


Let’s jump right into the last chapter…


Chapter 8 — Make It Stick


Students and lifelong learners alike will benefit from structured learning that includes spaced and interleaved retrieval practice, elaboration, generation, reflection, and use of mnemonic devices. Teachers should explain how learning works, teach learners how to study, incorporate desirable difficulties in the classroom, and make retrieval practice a cornerstone of student learning. Coaches, corporate trainers, and professional associations offering in-service training should educate their participants in how learning works and structure their training programs to include spaced, interleaved, and varied practice, making use of strategies such as quizzing, simulation, reflection, peer learning, generation, and role-playing.


What is your plan for the fall quarter? How will you apply this information to ensure you have long-term access to the material you are about to learn? Comment below. Please be sure to come to our first Navigating Your Way Through Professional School seminar series entitled, Essential Skills of Successful Students. We have a great panel of 2nd year students lined up to share with you their secretes to success and answer all your class and study related questions. We hope you will join us!

  • SCCO – Monday 8/26 at noon in the Student Lounge (Student Union)
  • SPAS – Tuesday 8/27 at noon in your classroom
  • COP – Wednesday 8/28 at noon in your classroom


One of our fabulous SCCO students, Warren, shared this video link with me and thought it fit in with the Making it Stick summary.


This video discusses making and studying from flash cards.  It is a good video. Just one tip from me . . .the curriculum moves pretty fast and it is hard to make flashcards for every class and everything. Sometimes students spend so much time preparing study materials that they don’t get the time to study. So use this tool wisely.


Effective Flash cards


I also liked his other videos, particularly this one:

10 Study Tips for Earning an A on Your Next Exam -


Thanks for following the blog this summer!



Dr. Barnhardt


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