Learn more effectively by reflecting on what you learn

Photograph of two notebooks and a pen.

By Jessica Ivins


In Figure out how you learn best, we explain how to learn more effectively by focusing on your process of learning. Then, you’ll figure out what learning approaches work well for you.

Paying attention to how you learn is part of becoming a better learner. You can also reflect on what you learn to help your learning stick.

Use a journal to reflect on your learning

Another trick for making learning stick is to reflect on your learning. You can do this by writing about what you learn in a journal. The journal can take any format you’d like, though I suggest keeping all journal entries in one place. The journal can be anything from a Google Document or a small, Field Notes memo book. Use whatever tool that feels most comfortable. Journal reflection is for you and you alone. So there’s no need to make a beautiful artifact, unless that’s what makes you most comfortable.

In your journal, jot down what you learned, how you learned it, and what was effective or ineffective in your learning process. As you journal, you’ll begin to see patterns in your learning. You’ll begin to know what learning approach works well for the type of thing you need to learn.

Share what you learn with someone else

Another way to reflect on your learning is to share what you learn with someone else. Sharing what you learn is a powerful way of making learning stick. During our daily stand-up meetings at Center Centre, each of us shares the most important thing we learned and how it will change our approach in the future. Sharing what I learn often helps me remember it later. When I’m trying to do something I haven’t done in a while, I usually remember a conversation I had about what I learned in a stand-up meeting. Because I shared what I learned with my peers, I remember it more easily.

You’ll be amazed by how much you remember if you share it with someone else. Also, sharing with someone else also helps that person learn something new. And when they share something they’ve learned with you, you have the opportunity to learn something as well.

You can share what you learn in a number of ways. Ask if your team members would like to share what they learned at your weekly staff meeting. You can each take five minutes or less to talk about what you learned and how it will help you approach learning differently in the future.

Find a learning buddy

You can also find another lifelong learner—someone who’s willing to geek out on learning with you. If you can find a co-worker, meet with this person for five to ten minutes a day and share the most important thing you learned. Explain how it will change what you do in the future. If you can’t find a co-worker, you can do this with someone outside of work, like a former colleague or a friend. Reflecting on what you learn every day will infuse the pattern of learning. You’ll both get better at learning how to learn.

Reflective learning at Center Centre

We have a learner-centered culture at Center Centre. Each day, we we learn on our own, and we learn something new from each other. By sharing and reflecting on what we learn, we make learning stick.

If you’d like to learn more about how Center Centre infuses learning into our daily process, check out the 24 Ways article, Meet for Learning, by Center Centre’s co-founder, Dr. Leslie Jensen-Inman.

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