The Importance of Reflection
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 they answer at the end of a history or biology textbook chapter. But students can also:
• create a mind map of how key terms are related to each other
• give a spoken summary of what they learned to a person or dictate it into their phone
• act out what they learned or use hand gestures to describe the information
• teach someone what they learned
These are all effective study habits.
Another important aspect of reflection is for students to ask questions about how they did on an assignment or test so they can improve and grow.
Asking themselves, "what would I do differently next time?" can lead to innovative thinking, creative solutions, and increased confidence as they learn from their missteps and take action.