Science of Learning


Most students never have been formally taught how to learn. Furthermore, most course instructors, although experts in their particular fields, have also never been explicitly taught in the science of how learning works. Unfortunately, when it comes to learning, the study strategies that feel most effective are often the least effective. This means that a lot of students spend a lot of time studying in ways that feel like they should work – even though science tells us they don’t.

Ready to be a more effective learner or teacher? Watch the videos below for an introduction to some of the most effective ways to study, as supported by the science of learning.

Please be aware that as you’re learning about and implementing best practices in teaching in your courses, it is also a best practice to provide accommodations for students who are eligible for them. This may require you to be flexible and creative in how you use any best practice for your courses. You have a legal obligation to provide reasonable accommodations and you are responsible for preparing and offering those accommodations whether or not a student chooses to take advantage of them.

Video Resources: Practical Strategies from the Science of Learning

Each short video below provides a quick snippet from our book chapters of some ways to apply principles from the science of learning to your learning and teaching.

Interested in Learning More about the Science of Learning

See Apply the Science of Learning to Online Classroom Assessment

CSU offers an online undergraduate course: PSY 152: Science of Learning.

CSU faculty members Matthew Rhodes, Anne Cleary, and Edward L. DeLosh have published a book of practical advice based on their research, “A Guide to Effective Studying and Learning: Practical Strategies from the Science of Learning” (2019).

Matthew Rhodes

Professor – Cognitive Psychology


Anne Cleary

Professor – Cognative Psychology


Edward L. DeLosh

Associate Professor – Cognitive Psychology


book cover for a guide to effective studying and learning