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4 Valuable Reasons To Teach What You Learn

The enormous amount of information you consume daily is retained as much as water in a leaking bucket. However, studies show that teaching vastly improves your retention rate.

1. Retention Rate

A well-known example is the following table based on research by Edgar Dale which shows the retention rate when consuming information in different ways. Over 90% of the information gets lost while reading, however, teaching the information increases your retention rate up to 80%!

  • 5% Lecture
  • 10% Reading
  • 20% Audio-Visual
  • 30% Demonstration
  • 50% Discussion
  • 75% Practice
  • 90% Teaching others

2. Goal Oriented

With unlimited access to the internet, it is easy to lose sight of the original problem you’re solving.┬áThink of the last time you searched for an instructional video on a problem and ended up on a funny cat video.

If you are writing for a certain audience it is easier to ask yourself: “Is this relevant for my target audience?”. By asking questions through the point of view of your audience you create distance and this makes it easier to see if you are doing relevant work.

Going down the rabbit hole

3. 1 + 1 = 3

The human brain can’t access information it doesn’t have. Therefore it is important to bounce ideas off other people. Set your ideas free into the world and let other people interact with them. From their fresh perspectives, solutions and suggestions arise.

4. Portfolio

The amount of unfinished projects lying around is probably huge, not every project is worth pursuing though. Make the choice to abandon a project quickly or finish it. Write a report or blog of your finished project to close it off and recap what you learned.

While we teach, we learn. – Seneca