We’ve all heard the old adage: Those who can’t do, teach.
I think this couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve learned just as much (maybe even more) about design through teaching than actual practice.
We’ve had the priviledge of teaching the mindsets and application of design thinking to students, graduates, and corporate teams in various forms over the years. This has ranged from 2hr to 2 week sprints facilitated remotely, in-person and even hybrid. And I have learned something every single time.
I have always promoted learning by doing and I decided to research some statistics on how we retain knowledge.
This can obviously vary depending on several factors, including the complexity of the information, the individual’s learning style and abilities, the amount of time and effort spent learning the material, and the methods used to reinforce the learning. However, studies have shown that the following retention rates can be expected:
– Lecture: Retention rates after a lecture can be as low as 5% after 24 hours.
– Reading: Retention rates after reading can be as low as 10% after 24 hours.
– Audio-visual: Retention rates after audio-visual learning can be as high as 50% after 24 hours.
– Hands-on practice: Retention rates after hands-on practice can be as high as 75% after 24 hours.
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin
The best forms of knowledge retention will also vary depending on the individual, but some effective methods include:
1. Practice and repetition: Repeating the material over time can help to reinforce the learning and improve retention.
2. Active learning: Engaging with the material through activities like problem-solving, discussions, and projects can help to cement the learning in the brain.
3. Visual aids: Using images, diagrams, and other visual aids can help to make the material more memorable and easier to recall.
4. Spaced learning: Breaking up the learning into smaller chunks and spacing them out over time can help to improve long-term retention.
5. Mnemonic devices: Using memory aids like acronyms, rhymes, or other associations can help to make the material more memorable and easier to recall.
6. Teach the material: Teaching the material to someone else can help to reinforce the learning and improve retention.
I find teaching through hands-on immersion to be the most effective way to transfer knowledge. But I also find it the best way to learn myself.