#1 rule to achieve the highest learning effectiveness”

Learning effectiveness

When you practice this tip on learning effectiveness, your knowledge retention will sky rocket!

Did you know these fascinating statistics about how we learn, remember, and retain things for a life time?
We remember ….
10% of what we read
15% of what we see
20% of what we hear
70% of what we say and write
80% when we do it or experience personally
And a whopping 90% or more when we teach someone else

This is called the Cone of Experience. This will boost your Learning effectiveness.


During the 1960s, Edgar Dale theorized that learners retain more information by what they “do” as opposed to what is “heard”, “read” or “observed”. Dale’s Cone of Experience is a model that incorporates several theories related to instructional design and learning processes. His research led to the development of the Cone of Experience. Today, this “learning by doing” is known as “experiential learning” or “action learning”.


It reveals that “action-learning” techniques result in up to 90% retention. People learn best when they use perceptual learning styles. Perceptual learning styles are sensory-based. The more sensory channels are possible in interacting with a resource, the better chance that many students can learn from it. According to Dale, instructors should design instructional activities that build upon more real-life experiences. Learning effectiveness is the key to sustained retention of knowledge.


Unfortunately, our academic upbringing only focuses on reading, listening, speaking, and writing. Too less of an emphasis is focused on the last two parameters that are learning through experience and learning by teaching someone else.

Learning effectiveness
Learning effectiveness


Since the kindergarten days, we have always been asked to listen and grasp the teachings, retain the information or knowledge by either reading aloud or writing it down multiple times. If we don’t promote the learning effectiveness, most if what we learn goes as a wasted investment

I am sure none of us would forget the impositions we would write. For instance, When a child makes a spelling mistake the child would be asked to write an imposition 21 times to learn the word or sentence correctly. This they thought would help a student to a great extent but it did worse than good. It not only killed a child’s interest in studies but also programmed his or her brain to believe that this was the only way to retain newly learned knowledge.
Do we need to ask our self this question isn’t it time we changed the way we learn things?


In the field of education and training shouldn’t we focus more on activity-based learning or facilitating rather than one-way teaching techniques that are old school?

Learning effectiveness
Learning effectiveness


Teaching being the noblest profession we need to break the age-old system to create better students and a much better generation of teachers. If you take a closer look at Dale’s Cone of Experience it offers a solution to this age-old dilemma. It clearly states that the human retention rate increases to a whopping 90% when they learn through experience. What a way to boost the Learning effectiveness!

Example- When a student learns a new concept in class he must be asked to teach the same to his classmates in the next class. I have been sincerely following this whenever I conduct training and honestly, it has given me surprising results. It transforms the least confident student into a confident coach in just a minute. Also enhancing the subject clarity to 100%. A hidden benefit of the teach-back method is it inculcates a love for teaching that helps mold an entire generation’s perspective.


Another fascinating example instead of just reading and writing for their exams, if students practice teaching their subject before a mirror it would help them to retain the subject knowledge easily. This was my way of learning back then in school because it was fun and I remembered complex concepts easily. This programmed my little mind to break down complex topics to simple and urged me to think of examples, cases related to the subject. It boosted my confidence and patience to study for hours long because I loved doing my role plays that got me in the shoes of my teacher.


Once we teach the same topic we tend to remember it for a lifetime. Have you ever helped a friend understand a subject that he failed to grasp in just 15 mins, or tutored your younger sibling these all situations and circumstances have always helped you retain the subject knowledge and instilled a sense of confidence in you.
Why stick to academics even in normal life we tend to retain more when we teach someone. You recently learned a new recipe you only get confident when you try it. But you get super confident it and will retain it for a lifetime when you teach someone the same.


So next time remember these steps 1. Learn something new 2. Teach it to someone immediately to retain it for a lifetime. This will boost your Learning effectiveness.

In learning, you will teach and by teaching you will learn

Phil Collins,

to learn more about The cone of Experience refer to http://www.vkmaheshwari.com/WP/?p=2332 and https://www.eln.io/blog/experience-cone-dale

Read my next post on learning effectiveness and forgetting curve.

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