Most people will think that in order to learn something new to them, they have to find a lecture class. There, the teacher will talk, and the students will take notes, and at the end of the session, there will be a test. Is there any guarantee that you will learn something? No.
If you study like most people, you read your notes, you review your books and materials, you highlight and memorize. How much do you remember after you finish the class? According to the National Training Laboratory, we only retain five percent of what we pick up in a lecture. The only way to keep that information fresh is to keep using it. How many of us are grateful for the test and keep reviewing it after we’ve passed it?
What if you just find all the books you can on a subject and read them and take notes? You are doing the same thing as listening to a lecture, of course, but you are also acclimatizing yourself to the specialized language of whatever you’re studying.
What if you watch experts in the field and follow them around asking questions? Some professionals encourage that. Most would find you really annoying. But there would be some active learning going on because you’d have the impact of the spoken word, watching the process, and attempting it yourself. The more impacts you have on your brain, the more information you’ll retain.
Libraries are a good source of information. Classes where you can ask questions and participate in your learning with experiments and homework are also good sources of information. Videos can be a great source because sometimes the videos can be slowed down and rotated so you can see exactly what the person is doing. If you want to learn a physical skill, videos and classes can be very helpful. Individual mentoring is a great source of practical training. Club memberships provide a chance to practice what you’re learning.
All of these sources of information are good, but if your process is not efficient, your retention will be low. You may remember what you’ve learned for a short time, but soon you will be struggling to use material you don’t remember studying.
I will help you with a process you can use over and over regardless of the type of information you are trying to digest. You see, it’s not the source of the information that will make you successful, it’s the way you process the information that allows you maximum retention. And that’s what you really want, isn’t it?