How Do We Actually Learn Things?

Have you ever crammed the night before a test only to find your final score wasn’t so hot? We’ve been there, too. Turns out, a lot of the notions we have about studying and learning often don’t align with how our minds actually work.

Here at Lessonly, our mission of helping people do better work hinges on an often unspoken rule: Our product must equip our learners with the necessary tools for deep and useful learning. As we continue to ask the question, “How do we actually learn something?” we’ve found that learning involves a four-step process before our brains can produce an A+ on that test.

Throughout this week, we’ll be exploring each of these five steps in-depth:

Attention: We’re never going to learn something if it can’t keep our attention. Knowing something always starts with focusing on it.

Encoding: Before we learn something, our brain has to understand it. We have an amazing ability to encode the outside world into signals that our brain can decipher.

Storage: In learning, context is king. Our minds naturally associate memories with one another, which strengthens learning and increases our understanding of the world around us.

Retrieval: Practice does indeed make perfect. Retrieving and recalling memories is key to the entire learning process. How, where, and why we retrieve memories can have huge influence on the strength of memories.

Forgetting: It might seem counterintuitive, but forgetting is crucial to learning. We may forget things quickly, but working to retrieve and remember it at a later date makes the learning stick that much more.

Whether it’s the simplicity of Lessonly’s design built to keep your attention focused or our recurring assignment feature meant to test your ability to recall the information you learned, you’ll find we’re serious about this stuff. We’re dedicated to the science behind learning so that we can provide a better learning environment for you and your team.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post on Attention where we discuss the importance of focus in the process of learning.

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