Different Memory Techniques Different Memory Needs: A Case Study for Undergraduate Science Students
The study aimed to identify the perceived remembering needs among undergraduate science students and to determine which memory techniques is the most effective for the type of need highlighted. The participants were first year science students taking Microbiology class during their second semester. The research design used was a case study involving 3 stages: exploratory stage, training stage, and evaluation stage. After conducting the first stage using Memory Need Surveys, 3 main concepts were found to be of importance to remember which were structures/figures, terminologies, and procedures/processes. In the second stage, 2 experiments were conducted to examine the effectiveness of Keyword Method (KWM) in remembering terminologies and effectiveness of First Letter Mnemonics (FLM) in remembering procedures/processes in Microbiology. Results showed that 18 participants could recall more than 10 definitions of terminologies learned during the training session (Experiment 1) where as for the latter experiment, results indicated that the mean score of the posttest (M=8.80) was higher than the mean score of the pre-test (M=8.00), showing that there was a significant difference between the number of list of processes that could be recalled by participants before and after the introduction of FLM (Experiment 2). Questionnaires and interviews were also conducted during the final stage. Participants indicated that KWM is effective in memorizing terminology and easier to apply and fun to use when learning Microbiology while FLM was found helpful in the remembering processes, easy to apply, promote faster remembering process, and is a joyful method of remembering procedures in Microbiology course. Taken together, these findings suggest that it is important to find a fit between different memory techniques with different remembering needs. In conclusion, implications of these research findings towards learning strategy as well as directions of future research will also be discussed.
Keywords: First-Letter Mnemonics, Keyword Method, Memory Techniques
Kartini Abd Ghani
Head of Department (Cognitive Sciences), Department of Cognitive Sciences