How Validation Can Be a Great Tool to
Help You Learn New Things
The truth of the matter is, what we know as the concept of learning has been recently found to be really quite useless. “Learning,” as we know it today has been considered to be the exact same practice for many years – it’s the process of being told how to do something, and then proceeding to write it down or making your best efforts to remember how to do it. This is simply not the best way to learn how to do things. If you’d like to learn more about the best do’s and dont’s for learning validation, then check out that article on Life Goals Mag.
Due to the way that the human mind works, it is in our nature to not remember things that we have just been taught that are not immediately relevant to something that we need to do. It is easier to understand this rule with an example. For example, if you are learning how to drive a car, you are taught “by doing.” When learning how to drive, you drive around in a car with an instructor. The instructor tells you what to do in small, broken-down steps, one thing at a time. Due to this learning process, a lot of people find learning to drive really quite easy, and even enjoyable.
On the contrary, think of a university lecturer or a conference. Whoever happens to be the speaker, the chances are that they will speak and speak for the duration of the meeting, and you will most likely only leave that meeting retaining little knowledge of what they said. From what you can remember them saying, it’s likely that you’ll forget that too if your brain doesn’t think you “need” to remember it. In other words, the brain remembers things that it believes are essential, as well as things that it has used in order to do something i.e. complete a task – learning by validation!
The validated learning process consists of breaking a larger process down into a number of steps, known as “chunks.” You then take a chunk, and act on it immediately – this new knowledge chunk that you have is implemented immediately, and you can then see if the way that you implemented your new chunk of knowledge allowed you to obtain the desired results – i.e. the desired outcome. If we were to go back to our driving lessons example (which is a process of validated learning), if your instructor was to be teaching you how to move a manual transmission car with clutch control, the desired outcome would be for the car to move forward (or backward if you were in reverse gear). If you did move forward, the desired outcome would be achieved and your brain will remember this action since it has physically witnessed the effects of this new knowledge being implemented. On the other hand, if you were simply told how to use the clutch to make the car move and you were asked to do it the following week, it’s very unlikely that you’d be able to remember.
The process of learning by validation can be used in all areas of your life, be that your job or indeed your personal life. As has been already said, learning by validation is the process of getting some new knowledge, no matter how significant, and then applying it. The effects pf this new knowledge application are then observed, measured, and compared against the intended outcome. If the effects are the same as the intended/desired outcome, then the new knowledge is correct and you have applied it correctly. This knowledge is then installed in the brain one small part at a time. However, the process of validated learning is advantageous in both senses – whether you are right or wrong in your actions. For example, if you were to apply your new knowledge and the outcome that happened were not to be the desired outcome, you would know that the new knowledge is incorrect and that you have to correct/relearn your method.
The benefits of validated learning as a tool to help you learn new things are not constrained just to learning one thing. Due to the nature of the process, once one new thing has been learned, it leads you on to the next chunk of knowledge that it makes sense to learn thereafter.
It has been proven that both learnings by validation and learning large chunks of knowledge into broken down, more manageable chunks are better and easier ways for the brain to absorb information. When you then learn these new small chunks one by one, apply them each, and then evaluate whether or not they were effective, they are much easier to remember as they are installed into your brain and are not an effort for it to remember. This is different from when the brain has information thrown at it and is expected to remember – impossible in most instances.
The biggest advantage of validated learning is the fact that it leads you on to the next part of knowledge or information that it makes sense to learn.
When you learn with learning by validation, after the implementation stage is complete you then have to evaluate the results of your new implementation. This stage is beneficial to your learning in every way imaginable. As is the case in most areas of life, failure can be just as helpful as success – if not more so. When you evaluate whether or not your implementation was successful, even if it was not you are still closer to finding the correct solution since you have found one way that doesn’t work – you’ll learn not to try it again.
Learning by validation is one of the most powerful tools that are available to help you learn new things. It’s advantageous in so many ways – no matter what the outcome, you still learn something, and it’s installed in your long term memory. It works in conjunction with the way that our minds work – it is simply impossible to properly remember something if you do not implement it, test it, and see if it truly does return the outcome that you are looking for.
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