Zachary W. Huang

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My Thoughts on Learning

November 30, 2021

Active vs Passive Learning

Things like watching lectures, reading textbooks, and generally “absorbing” knowledge is passive. Actually doing something, such as completing exercises, doing a project, or practicing in general, is active. In the majority of cases, I think that it is best to do something like 80% active learning and 20% passive learning.

Logistic Growth

I think that learning looks like logistic growth, with the effort you put in on the x axis and results on the y axis. When you start on a new task/activity, it’s really hard to make progress. As you put in more effort, it gets easier - it seems like your progress starts to become exponential. But once you start reaching a certain level, your learning slows down, and it again becomes hard to make substantial progress.

Automagically Improving

A lot of the time, it’s hard to measure your progress because you don’t see results immediately. With running, it supposedly takes 3 weeks to actually see results after a workout. And with piano, it’s hard for me to judge if I am actually improving day by day. I think it’s better to look at yourself week-by-week or month-by-month, since then it becomes obvious when you do actually improve. And then, it seems almost like magic - just practice, sleep, repeat, and you become better than you were previously.

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