Self-study and learning environments

From Jesse Farmer’s Quora answer:

“..If you’re studying on your own, I think it’s critical that you find at least one expert mentor/coach/teacher who can give you semi-regular feedback on your work. 

I see things like Lynda, Codecademy, Udacity, etc. as the internet’s version of a public library card — amazing and unquestionably valuable, but not comparable to having a peer, mentor, or teacher who is vested in your learning.  I believe very firmly that the most important factor in student learning is frequent, high-quality feedback from an expert-teacher.  In other words, who you’re learning with matters a lot more than how you’re learning and how you’re learning matters a lot more than what you’re learning

Self-Study and Unconscious Incompetence 

One thing I’ve found about students who learn on their own is that they can be stuck in a state of unconscious incompetence for a very long time.  It wasn’t until I had been learning on my own for several years that I was able to look back and see how hopelessly confused I was for months and months on end.  Make sure you’re constantly asking yourself, “Do I really, truly believe I understand this?  How can I put that belief to the test?”


Paul Tough on “Who Gets to Graduate?”

Another important education feature by Paul Tough:

“More than 40 percent of American students who start at four-year colleges haven’t earned a degree after six years. If you include community-college students in the tabulation, the dropout rate is more than half, worse than any other country except Hungary.”

Anonymous (i.e. Self-invoking) Functions

Notes from:


Definition:  Functions that execute immediately when they’re defined.

Purpose: To create scope. In JavaScript, only functions have scope. Any time variables are defined outside of a function, they are carelessly dumped into the global object.


function () {
var foo = ‘Hello’;
var bar = “world”;
var baz = [foo, bar];
alert(baz.join(‘, ‘));
} ();

Note: It it recommended that an extra set of parentheses wrap the function definition as well so to provide a visual clue to the developer that the function isn’t a normal function, as follows:

(function () {
var foo = ‘Hello’;
var bar = “world”;
var baz = [foo, bar];
alert(baz.join(‘, ‘));

Passing parameters: If a self-invoking function requires parameters, they can be passed just like in a regular function.
The following example applies an “negative” class on every input element who’s numeric value is below 0.

(function (elements) {

for (var i = 0; i < elements.length; i++) {

if ((elements[i].value * 1) < 0 {

elements[i].className = ‘negative’;



})(document.getElementsByTagName (‘input’));


Even though the function is executing in its local scope, the ‘this’ keyword still refers to the global object.

The following uses method to execute a self-invoking function within the scope of the first table element on the page.

(function (elements) {

for (var i = 5; i < this.rows.length; i++ {

this.rows[i].className = ‘hide’;





“Psychologist D…

“Psychologist Dan Willingham at the University of Virginia, who studies how our brains learn, says teachers should not tailor instruction to different kinds of learners. He says we’re on more equal footing than we may think when it comes to how our brains learn. And it’s a mistake to assume students will respond and remember information better depending on how it’s presented.”