While acknowledging the shortcomings of making oversimplifications, I wonder if it is useful to think of learning in the below equation:

Learning = receiving + application

That is, it’s not enough to just receive new information. That means that when we are studying a textbook, attending a lecture, reading an email, we don’t necessarily learn anything.

We need to apply the knowledge – write it in our own words, discuss or argue it with others, retell to another – and then we can consolidate the information we have received, and we learn.

If you find this equation compelling, then it means whenever you are in a position to maximize the learning of yourself and/or others, make sure the activities involved cover a balance of both the receipt and the adoption of new knowledge.

What are other ways to elegantly describe the process and components of learning?

This is an area I’ll definitely read / ponder more on…