What are the most effective learning methods?

After I got done speaking at the SQL Server 2008 R2 Launch Event yesterday I came back to the hotel room for a web-meeting with some of the other teachers at the University of Washington. As teachers we are always looking to improve the knowledge transfer to our students – and the Program Director found an interesting study that I thought I might share here. Below is an un-labeled chart showing the effectiveness of learning methods according to a recent study. At the top are the labels. (“Teaching” here means students teaching each other). Try the experiment we did: place the labels where you think they’ll go. I’ll post the completed chart tomorrow.

Comments (4)

  1. @dmmaxwell says:

    I'm going to go with: Teaching, Practice, Discussion, Demonstration, Audio-Visual, Reading and Lecture. Based solely on my own experience and learning style, of course. 🙂  Interested to see how close I am.

  2. Grant says:

    Based on the stuff I've done and the classes I've taken I'll go with:

    Teaching, Practice, Demonstration, Audio-Visual, Reading, Discussion, Lecture

    I do this because I know from experience that teaching something is the best way to really understand it and retain it, but… that assumes that I learned it in the first place. I could be teaching utter crap, so while teaching is an excellent method, there is a bit of a chicken & egg process going on there that can't be ignored.

  3. @crummel4 says:

    I'll mix it up a little: practice, teaching, discussion, demo, audio/visual, reading, lecture.

    In my view you don't really know something until you've done it yourself.  You might learn something you haven't done which you then have to teach others, but teaching from experience I suspect is more effective.

    I (perhaps incorrectly) interpret the teaching metric differently, as I don't know if teaching is done in a way which requires each student to teach another such that each student plays both roles at least once.  I originally thought only in terms of the student role's retention only, not the teacher's retention (even if the teacher is another student in this case.)  If the inter-student teaching was split between those only in the teaching role and those only in the student role, I suspect those only teaching would be higher than practice, or if the teaching is done such that each student is required to teach another.  In both of those cases then I would agree with @dmmaxwell.

  4. rrolfav@yahoo.com says:

    my sequence would be reading, lecture, teaching, audio visual, demonstration, discussion and practise