Monday, May 3, 2010

More Effective Learning - A Simple Technique


Steve Gillman, in an article on (Intelligent Life on the Web), writes how current methods of learning maybe aren't the most effective ways to learn. The first method to improving learning is by teaching. Gillman writes that by teaching others, we grasp a better understanding of something ourselves.

Helps improve your learning of a topic
It may be tough to find people willing to listen/learn
It takes time to learn about a topic, and then teach it to others

Gillman then discusses how "vividly imagining" yourself teaching can improve your learning even more. By first teaching a friend about a topic you are trying to learn, you can gain a better understanding of the topic. If you then vividly imagine yourself teaching the topic you are learning about, you will become better at learning the topic.
Your vivid teaching lessons go faster than real ones and have less interruptions.



  1. I see some potential pitfalls with the "vividly imagining" youself teaching technique. Teaching another person about your topic requires you to explain it to them in depth and allows for the other person to give feedback and let you know they understand. I can see some people over-relying on the imaginary lessons, where it's easier to imagine someone understanding everything you say rather than an actual person asking "what does that mean?". Is this concept of "vividly imagining" teaching specifically Gillman's? Or does he borrow from other research?

  2. Teaching someone certainly seems to help me learn a subject and remember it longer. I'm sure vivid imagining would be useless if you imagined people nodding along with everything you say. However, I think it gives you a chance to explore how to present a subject in different ways as long as you try to imagine what the pitfalls to comprehension might be and how to counter them.