What can cause learning inefficiency

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Created: January 22, 2020 / Updated: March 22, 2020 / Status: finished / 2 min read (~394 words)

What can cause us to learn inefficiently?

There are many reasons which can cause someone to learn at a slower pace than what should be possible for them. This can be caused by many factors, amongst them:

  • Learning the same material under different wordings: You are going through material which you've already read, thus this "new" material is not providing you with any fresh information.
  • Learning outdated material: You are learning material that has already been replaced with better material. It may be useful to learn outdated material for the historical purpose, but you should always aim to know what is the latest material.
  • Learning incorrect material: You are learning material that is effectively not providing you with the information you want to learn. It may appear like you are learning something, but learning the wrong facts is a waste of your time.
  • Learning from a source that makes the material difficult to understand: Learning efficiently is about learning from the best sources. If the material you have makes it difficult to understand what you are trying to learn, you should look for content elsewhere.
  • Learning material for which we do not know the prerequisites: Learning a topic when we do not have the prerequisite knowledge will generally lead to confusion and make it difficult, if not impossible to learn.
  • Learning from multiple sources with contradictory information: Learning from sources that disagree on facts makes it difficult to learn because you have to either accept that both answers are true, which can be complicated when they contradict each other, or that you need to establish which answer is the correct one, which requires additional effort.
  • Learning while not being completely focused on the task: When learning, it is imperative to dedicate our focus to the task. Not doing so is likely to lead to information falling through the cracks of focus, leading to gaps in understanding, leading to requiring to go through the material again.

What is important to do while learning is to recognize when certain behaviors or circumstances make learning less efficient than desired and writing those behaviors or circumstances down so that you may have your own list of causes for learning less efficiently. As you discover those causes, make sure to put in place some contingency plans that will help you reduce their impact on your learning abilities.