21 October 2021

Know about the Learning Pyramid

“If you study to remember you will forget but if you study to understand you will remember!”

When it comes to learning practices and understanding and retaining the information, this quote makes more sense to the students. 

If you are a student, then you must be familiar with the notion that learning of the subject is in direct relation to understanding the concept. If you have understood the basics of your subject or any other non-academic course material, then you are halfway there. But, is learning and understanding the concepts as effortless as they seem? And what is the possibility of retention after learning and understanding the concepts? 

Analytically speaking, the answer lies in the “Learning Pyramid.”

But before hopping onto different conclusions, take a close look at the diagrammatic representation of the pyramid. It is conical in shape, and it is divided into a few segments which represent ‘stages.’ These stages will help you understand the concept of the Learning Pyramid, and how they can make learning uncomplicated and effortless. Moreover, it will make you acknowledge the fact ‘how much you can retain from what you are learning?’

Learning Pyramid: Inside Out

This term was coined by Edgar Dale. He was an expert in ‘Audio-visual Education, and he created this study model in the year 1946. Later on, it was further developed by the National Training Laboratory. This Learning Pyramid is also known as the ‘Cone of Learning,’ and it was invented to help students understand the degree of retention from what they are learning.

As per this model, there are two ways of learning; active and passive. And each segment of the pyramid represents a percentage that depicts degrees of retention persuaded from learning. Let’s have a look to know more. 

Stages of Learning Pyramid

  • 5% Lecture
    As per this model, the student can retain 5% through their lectures. It is a passive way of learning, and the teacher is giving all the information collected. Attentiveness, making notes, and hearing the lecture with full concentration makes it easier for the students to retain it better.
  • 10% Reading
    Learning always starts with reading between the lines. After attending your lecture, if you read what was being taught, then the chances are that you can retain that information in a better way. Reading textbooks will aid in feeding the knowledge to your brain. Multiple reading sessions can bring more benefits.
  • 20% Audio-Visual
    According to the Learning Pyramid, if you are trying to learn anything via audio-visual means, then the chances are that you can retain that information better as compared to reading. It can be done either by learning through interactive learning videos on YouTube, listening to knowledge-worthy podcasts, understanding the concept through pictorial diagrams, etc.
  • 30% Demonstration
    Have you seen the movie 3 Idiots where Rancho used physics laws in a form of a demonstration? This example can be loud and clear to know that Learning Pyramid suggests that demonstrations can be useful for students to retain and learn their concepts in a healthy and fun manner. It makes learning creative and effective.
  • 50% Discussion
    It is one of the active methods of learning, and this model suggests that this is a crucial step in gaining retention. If a student can discuss his/her ideas or thoughts on the subject or the concepts which he has learned, then he/she will be able to preserve the information easily. Students can engage themselves in asking questions, bringing group discussions in the frame, or starting their podcasts or clubhouse sessions, where they can share valuable information with either their classmates, friends, or teachers.
  • 75% Practice
    Practice makes the man perfect. Nobody can deny this fact. This form of learning helps you boost and sharpen your memory. Combined with all other above-mentioned stages of learning, if a student will practice what he/she has learned through lectures, videos, discussions, and demonstrations, then chances are that information will be stored for the long run.
  • 90% Teaching Others
    Have you ever been to a situation where your friend has asked you to teach him some topic just a day before the exam, and he was able to score well because of the last-minute information shared by you? Technically speaking, the majority of you will say yes!  Teaching others is one of the most superior models of retention method. This makes you aware of your subject, boosts confidence, and you are familiar with the concepts in detail.

With this Learning Pyramid, students will justify their learning practice in a better way. And as each student is different and unique, it is up to them to recognize which model suits best for them.

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