The Feynman Technique Made Easy (A Guide For College Students)

Just so you are aware, there are two main types of knowledge. Unfortunately for many people they tend to focus a lot on the wrong type of knowledge. The first type of knowledge is that which focuses on knowing the name of something while the other second type of knowledge is that which focuses on actually knowing what the thing is. Just so we are clear, these two are not the same thing. Richard Feynman (renowned Nobel winning physicist) clearly understood the difference between the two which is what formed the basis of his success on the world stage. As a matter of fact, he even came up with a formula for learning. The technique he came up withhas helped many heighten their comprehension of relevant knowledge.

The Feynman technique as it is commonly referred has since proven to help anyone understand any subject matter not only fast but also in-depth. What’s more, it is a very easy technique to implement. Below is an overview of exactly how to implement the Feynman technique to improve your learning.

First off, it is very important to understand the fact that the most basic aspect of this technique involves being able to explain the concept (something which can be executed in a number of ways). For instance, you can literally grab a friend or any other person right next to you and explain to them exactly what it is that you are learning. In the event you can’t get a willing listening ear then simply do the following:

i. Grab a piece of paper and note down the name of the concept or idea you are exploring right at the top.

Keep in mind, this particular learning technique is not necessarily limited to math and science alone, it’s basically applicable in any field of learning.
 

ii. Proceed to try and explain the concept in question in your own words.

Do it as you practically would when explaining it to someone else. While doing this focus on using plain simple language. Make sure that you do not restrain your explanation to a mere definition or a rather broad overview. In fact, make it a point to challenge yourself with a few examples just to ascertain that you have understood the concept in and out.
 

iii. Go over your explanation pointing out areas you feel are shaky .

At the same time identify areas you noticed you didn’t gasp properly. Upon completing your review switch back to the source material and go through it once again with the sole intention of shoring up your understanding.
 

iv. Finish by making changes to any areas of your explanation where you might have used any complex phrases to pass across your explanation.

Come up with ways to bring out these same points using simpler terms.

Simply put, this particular technique is designed to help you not only understand but also be able to share whatever you have learnt with anyone in a manner that can be easily understood by anyone without reference to an external knowledge base you may already have.

This technique is such an amazing approach to learning while it also serves as a window into a completely different way of thinking that allows you to break down ideas and then reconstruct them again having grasped them better. The end result is a much deeper understanding of new concepts and ideas. This technique also helps you know when other people don’t really know what it is they are talking about.

Besides the technique, there are several other techniques which have been proven to be very effective methods of learning. The best part is, these techniques can easily be applied by students with or even without instructor facilitation. They include:

Practice testing.

This technique involves the occasional taking of self tests or better yet taking practical tests. The kind of practice testing in question is that which is done outside the class and students upon taking it get an objective  feedback. Take note, the students are however closely guided through the feedback in case they got a particular concept or understood an idea the wrong way. In certain instances they might also be left to try and figure out for themselves exactly where it is that went wrong.

This technique has since been proven to help significantly to enhance general learning as well as the retention of newly acquired concepts since it helps in encoding of information in the long term memory.

Distributed Practice.

This technique involves the spreading of study activities or practice over time as opposed to struggling to cram everything just a few days to taking a test. Take note, even though cramming is considered better than never reading at all, distributed practice which is simply spaced study has been found to be far much better amongst learners trying to grasp new concepts or ideas.

 

In addition to all of the above, another very important aspect crucial to the methods of learning is being properly organized. Making sure you are always prepared stands to make the difference between good and poor performance while learning. Besides, the most effective methods of learning always start off with having the right attitude. Remember, having a positive attitude can easily shift how you view studying from viewing it as a punishment to viewing it as an opportunity to learn new concepts or master new ideas.

 

Never forget, there isn’t a one size fits all approach when it comes to the methods of learning and in particular learning the best way to study. Study methods should therefore be tailored to suit each student’s learning preferences. Remember each and everyone has different learning abilities. This being the case, it is extremely important to make sure that on a personal level you figure out exactly what it is that serves you the best and stick to it right until you have satisfactorily mastered a particular concept.