Red Rubber Duck's Learning & Study Skill Guide
Red Rubber Duck's Learning & Study Skill Guide 

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Red Rubber Duck's Learning & Study Skill Guide may be your passport to success if

• You are a college student or studying towards professional qualifications, and

• You are dealing with an overflow of information, especially information from written texts and notes and

• You need to understand and memorize this overflow of information for your next important exam.

Great....but I'm in a teaching role:

Find out how the guide can help you to get the message across to your students 


Book Reviews on "Red Rubber

Duck's Learning & Study Skill Guide"

Find out what others say about Red Rubber Duck's Learning & Study Skill Guide.

Norm Goldman of (Excerpt):

"....this is about the best book I’ve seen on this topic."

"...If you are looking for a practical guide that includes a great deal of

information to help improve your study habits or for general interest, this is

about the best book I’ve seen on this topic. Its material is well structured and intelligently presented evidencing Vandon’s comprehensive understanding of study and learning skills. It will surely prove to be quite a gem with students and others and is one book readers will revisit both for its sage advice and easy to follow clever format."

Norm Goldman practiced as a Title Attorney and Civil Law Notary (Notaire) for over 35 years. Now retired, he acts as editor & publisher of

Read Norm Goldman's complete review on


Rod Clark,

"...By practicing what he preaches, Dan Vandon has created a book that is literally hard to forget..."

"In the next minute, try not to think of a red rubber duck. Just tell yourself: "I will not think of a red rubber duck, I will not...." Well, you get the idea. Not so easy, is it? Some kinds of information just stick in the brain better than others. While this can be annoying, this "stickiness" can also be very useful, especially when trying to learn complex new materials or studying for exams. Red Rubber Duck's Learning and Study skill Guide, by Dan Vandon, is a handy compact tool kit for basic study techniques. The author explains that most students put time and energy into studying (the "sweat strategy"), but often they do it inefficiently, because they are not employing good study tools (the "tool strategy"). With a little investment in effort AND developing the right tools, you can get a much better payoff. To that end Vandon introduces three key tools, each complete with instructions and examples of use: The Association Tool, The Big Picture Tool, and The Structure Tool. There is also a section on basic memory and recall techniques, and a final chapter students will find useful on developing a strategy for a specific exam. To illustrate the challenge of studying, Vandon tells the story of a man trying to fill bottles with a bucket. No matter how careful he is, most of the water doesn't go into the bottle. Similarly, he argues, much of our working memory never makes it into long term memory. Using Red Rubber Duck's tools and memory and recall techniques, we can get more of the water into the bottle, retain more vital information, and recall it later when needed.
There was a time in human history, before the invention of books and recording devices, when individual humans had to keep all the knowledge necessary for their daily existence and survival in their heads. Often this information was preserved in stories. Vandan uses stories in the text to make specific points, and also shows the reader how to construct memorable stories that in themselves will preserve information for future use. He also provides us with techniques for how to use the natural stream of associations that passes through our minds daily to help us remember important information. In an age where we are being encouraged to hand over more and more of our mental tasks to computers, we often neglect mental resources that have been in the human brain since that ancient time when our species survived through hunting and gathering. Vandon's book can help you revitalize and employ some of those resources. As educational materials go, the Red Rubber Duck guide is well designed. It has good internal information mapping, including a series of nicely placed charts and diagrams, and good chapter summaries--making the text easy to study and remember. By practicing what he preaches, Dan Vandon has created a book that is literally hard to forget. Red Rubber ducks forever!"

Joe Taylor, ForeWord CLARION Reviews

"...Always, Vandon pushes an active approach

to learning, and his book is a model of active teaching that involves the body and the senses..."
"Bob is using a bucket to empty a river into a bottle,

and as one might guess, it isn’t going very well. The bucket is too small for the river, and too large for the neck of the bottle. Dan Vandon uses the story of “the Bottle, the Bucket, and Bob”—one of many analogies in this guide—to put forth his thesis about studying and learning. The river is course information, the bucket is working memory, and the bottle is long-term memory. The student’s task is to “pass the test”: to fill up the bottle with enough pertinent course material to succeed on exams and in life. To this end, Vandon urges students to use the most appropriate tools and the best strategy for efficient processing of information. Surprisingly, Vandon’s approach to achieving more with less work offers no shortcuts or quick fixes. He stresses the importance of personal responsibility and commitment, and he urges students to fine-tune their own personal learning techniques. He allows that exams are often artificial and arbitrary, but he reminds that exam scores open and close the door to opportunity. Having earned law degrees in several countries, Vandon is no stranger to information overload and the pressure to always pass more exams. This guide, while drawing on theoretical models for learning, is written in everyday language with no citations. Vandon uses analogies and examples as well as visuals—tables, charts, and graphic representations—to explain his ideas. His book offers a way to study and learn and, in the end, pass the test. His intended audience is college students or anyone with a need to retain large amounts of verbal information.

The essentials of Vandon’s “basic algebra of studying and learning” are the Association Tool, the Big Picture Tool, and the Structure Tool. The first is a method of assigning physical “triggers” to help the learner remember list items, abstract ideas, and concrete numbers. Like a visitor to a new city, a student also needs the equivalent of a map and guidebook in order to have a glimpse of the whole—the Big Picture—rather than meaningless parts. And in the same way that learners need a list of ingredients and steps for the process of baking a cake, the Structure Tool helps to uncover the organization of detail in a text—the steps, hierarchies, sequences, timelines, and other patterns of organization. Vandon caps these tools with a “going for day x” exam strategy that includes defining goals, estimating the course content and the skills needed to master it, and writing a working plan, or “roadmap to success.”

Always, Vandon pushes an active approach to learning, and his book is a model of active teaching that involves the body and the senses so as to help Bob, the student, maximize the storage of river water in the bucket and the bottle."

With a background in intellectual property law, Dan Vandon has earned law degrees in several countries, a chore that led to perfecting the tools and techniques presented in Red Rubber Duck’s Learning & Study Skill Guide. "Red Rubber Duck's Learning & Study Skill Guide" is Dan Vandon’s personal recipe for dealing with an overflow of information and mastering exams — challenges 
faced by all students.

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