How Reflecting Improves Learning
Reflecting on what you learn makes your learning more effective.
A study done by HEC Paris, Harvard Business School, and the University of North Carolina determined that time spent thinking about what you just learned is more effective than repetition.
The researchers found that synthesizing information from a lesson or articulating the key points helps us retain what we learned.
Students are often asked to do this as part of their homework; just think about the questions students must answer at the end of a history or biology chapter. But another key piece to this is having students reflect using their best learning style.
Therefore, a visual learner might create a web of how key terms are related to each other or make flash cards. An auditory learner could give you a spoken summary of what they learned or dictate it into their phone. A kinesthetic learner may enjoy acting out what they learned or using hand gestures to describe the lesson.
Another great method, especially for younger learners, is to teach someone what you just learned as a way to synthesize content.
Reflection can work not just for academic topics, but also when learning a sports skill, music, or how to construct something. Try it out the next time you learn something new and see if it helps you remember the information better.