The SAAD method is a learning strategy that aims to simplify and accelerate learning, with the name SAAD standing for “Survey, Ask, Attempt, and Decide”.
- Survey: Before you start reading a text or learning a lesson, get an overview of what to expect. Take a look at the headings, paragraphs, pictures and graphics to get an understanding of what it is about. The point here is to get an overview of the topic before getting into the details. This means getting an overview of the text or topic by reading the headings, the beginning of the text and the end of the text to get an idea of what is being covered. Scanning is particularly helpful here, because scanning involves reading the text or looking at the material quickly and looking for the most important information. This can help to get an overview and focus on what is most important.
- Ask (ask questions): As you skim the text, ask yourself questions that you want answered. These questions can be about the content, the meaning or the application of the material. So, after getting the overview, the idea is to ask questions to aid understanding. This can involve asking: What do I already know about this? What is my goal with this topic? What do I still need to know?
- Attempt: Read the text thoroughly and try to answer the questions you have asked. Make a note of important points and take notes to organise what you have learned. This is about reading the text or material. You should focus on the information that is relevant to answering the questions asked. It is also important to take notes and organise the material as you read, because when you organise, you organise the information in a meaningful order, e.g. by dividing it into categories or subcategories or creating a mind map. This can help deepen understanding and make connections easier to see. Bi this step, you also store the information in your memory, e.g. by repeating it aloud or summarising it in your own words. Creating mnemonic devices or linking them to existing knowledge can also help to retain the information better.
- Decide: Check your answers and decide which ones are correct and which ones you have not yet understood. Focus on the areas you did not understand and re-read those sections to make sure you have fully understood the material. As you do this, recall the stored information from memory, e.g. by asking yourself questions or answering quizzes. This can help you to retain what you have learned in the long term and to be able to apply it in other contexts. In this last step, it is therefore a matter of applying what you have learned to questions in order to consolidate your understanding. This can be done, for example, by doing exercises, writing summaries or reproducing what you have learned in your own words.
The SAAD method is a very effective method to promote understanding and memory of what has been learned, as it aims at an active learning process in which the learner actively reflects, asks questions and applies what has been learned.