Ah, physics class. Senior year, last period of the day, and that nice but boring-as-hell teacher. I aced the class (and without really trying – he was also ‘the easy physics teacher’), but you wouldn’t have known it if you’d seen me trying to set up my laptop desk riser so that I could stand up in front of my laptop camera to do a FB Live video.
There was some trial and error to adjusting all those little arm angles to get to the height I wanted and then to balance my computer on top. All was well until I decided to clip my ring light to the back and barely caught my laptop as everything toppled over. (Too bad I had no way of capturing that on video – would have made a great start to an outtakes reel!)
Anyway! What I actually remember from high school physics would fit on a sticky note:
- A body in motion stays in motion.
- Everything falls to the ground at the same rate, regardless of its weight.
- Something about how when height and width multiply, weight changes exponentially (e.g., King Kong is physically impossible).
That’s all I’ve got! Why is that? You spend a whole year in a classroom, and you forget most of everything you once stayed up late to learn for the tests. If you’re are in the same boat as I am (i.e., you are not a physicist), I bet you recall as much as I do.
As online educators (and if you don’t think you are one, click here to watch me clarify why you are), we want to find all the ways to help our prospects and clients remember and be able to apply what we have to share with them. We have to learn how to boost learning for our audience. And that’s where I’m going to help!
Ahem! Allow me to pull out all of my education and psychology credentials and tell you everything I know about how the human brain works and learns! You ready?!
Just kidding! I don’t need to back it up with hundreds of years of research. One thing I know you have learned and not forgotten is that most of what we learn IS forgotten.
- You know that you have already forgotten one of the three amazing ideas you learned from that podcast you listened to on the way to pick the kids up at camp.
- You know that you have to find the instructions you copied to a document every time you need to do run that macro in Excel.
- You know if you read that self-development book but fail to complete the exercises, that you’re going to forget it all and nothing is going to change.
What’s the difference between what we remember and what we forget? What makes some concepts more memorable than others? Why can we remember knowledge or a skill that we picked up ages ago, but not the main idea of the fascinating blog post we read just yesterday?! How much do we remember, how much are we likely to forget, and what can we DO to remember more, forget less?
Our brains simply aren’t equipped to remember everything we take in, but there are tons of tips and tricks we can apply to what we teach to reinforce learning and retention. A few of the most helpful – and obvious – techniques are repetition, encouraging notetaking, and providing opportunities for practice. But there are plenty more, and I’m going to be sharing them with you over the next few weeks.
Every Thursday, on my Facebook page, I’m going to show up live with a tip you can use to boost learning for your audience, which you can use in your programs and your content marketing efforts. (I’m keeping them short and sweet because bite-sized learning is another handy tip – it makes the content more consumable!)
Don’t forget to tune in!