Top findings (to date)

Actual top learning from thesis: Have the creative confidence to go in a direction you enjoy, not one you think is the right answer. I’ve been tossing around in my head (though I should probably be actually tossing something around according to my findings) many ideas in which to direct my thesis. I’ve narrowed down the process of learning a skill (hard, soft, domain?) with others you might not know otherwise. I still have a lot of reading to do (communities of interest, memory palace training, pattern languages of architecture and how they promote spaces of learning, loose center groups, and the purpose of knowledge experiments. more of a reference for me rather than whoever is reading this), but plan on using all of this research to clearly state the purpose of what I will design.

I’ve talked with others about my thesis topic and have gathered four core findings. I will discover new findings in the coming week but want to share what I have so far.

1. Satisfaction in learning a new skill varies in severity from person to person

Many interviewees mentioned that they felt they knew enough about a topic by just being aware of the process, while others felt they needed to master the topic before they would be satisfied in that domain.

2. People like learning with others who are trying to learn the same thing.

It’s hard to stay motivated or maintain the discipline to stick to learning something new, which is why having others around who share a common goal promotes better learning and motivation.

3. Memorizing something effectively requires a component of hands-on exposure

The common way of teaching is primarily explicative: having someone tell you the information with the expectation that you will retain it instead of forming your own idea of how this type of learning works (no matter how much you read about baseball, you won’t be good at playing unless you pick up a bat and hit a round thing).

4. People more often than not want to help others.

We all strive to be useful, both to show off what we know and to guide others in need toward a direction they can’t necessarily see. Asking for help is a powerful skill that is often underrated and overlooked.

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