EXAMS

Learning With the Feynman Technique

Chapters

  1. What is the Feynman Technique?
  2. How to learn faster with the Feynman Technique
  3. How to apply Feynman Technique alone
  4. How to apply Feynman Technique with someone else
  5. Other revision strategies to consider

 

How human beings learn, take in and retain information is always a hot topic. Among the many learning techniques and methods that have been developed over the years, the Feynman Technique or the Feynman Method is among the most simple and effective. 💯

The idea behind the Feynman study technique is that trying to explain a concept or idea as simply as possible will help your students understand the topic properly, but is Feynman Technique effective? Let’s take a closer look at what the Feynman technique of learning is all about and how you can implement it in your classroom or lessons. 👇

mother with child writing at a desk

 

What is the Feynman Technique?

 

The Feynman Technique is a method for quickly reviewing and learning a topic or concept by explaining it in simple terms using plain language. 🗣️

The technique was named after Richard Feynman, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist. He was not just a brilliant scientist but also nicknamed ‘The Great Explainer’ due to his ability to relay complex ideas to others in simple, intuitive ways. 🏆

The idea behind the Feynman learning method is that by explaining a particular concept in simple terms, your students can figure out which parts of the concept they understand most and which bits still feel complicated or unclear. The Feynman teaching method simply refers to using this technique within the classroom, either individually or in groups.

Using the Feynman Technique for learning, you’ll be able to identify aspects your students haven’t grasped because they’ll find themselves unable to explain them without using complex words. This is a tell-tale sign that they could do with some further revision. 🤔

 

How to learn faster with the Feynman Technique

 

The Feynman method of learning is often considered a helpful tool for those hoping to learn more quickly and effectively. 👌

In addition to helping your students identify any problem areas in their understanding of the topic you’re teaching them, the Feynman method of studying provides you and them with quick and efficient ways to fill in the gaps using a targeted learning approach. 🎯

The Feynman Technique or Feynman study method is a simple 4-step method (more on that below) that allows students to quickly grasp any topic or concept. Now that we understand what this learning technique is all about let’s move on to the big question: how do you apply the Feynman Technique?

 

How to apply Feynman Technique alone

 

It’s easy and convenient to use the Feynman Technique alone. Your students will need a pen, a sheet of paper and the four Feynman Technique steps. So, what are the steps of the Feynman learning technique? Let’s take a look. 📝

#Step 1 – Identify the subject

Ask your students to write down the concept or idea they’re learning on a blank piece of paper. Make sure they’re clear about what concept they’re trying to understand. 🙋

#Step 2 – Explain the concept

Next, your students must explain the topic in their own words, as though they’re teaching it to another person, without referring to any source material. Remind them to stick to simple words and terminology that almost anyone could understand, avoid giving only a brief overview or definition, and instead go in-depth enough to explain the concept entirely. 💬

#Step 3 – Identify knowledge gaps

Next, they should read through their own explanation and identify gaps in their knowledge. In writing the explanation down, they’ll probably already have spotted areas where it was unclear or confusing. 🧐

When they’ve identified the problem areas, you can go back to their notes or reading materials to fill in any gaps in their understanding.

#Step 4 – Organise and clarify

In the process of shoring up any gaps in their explanation of the concept, they will likely have deepened their understanding of the topic at hand. 🗂️

Now, they can spend some time clarifying the main aspects of their explanation and organising their writing so that it would make sense to someone that’s never heard of the concept before.

 

How to apply Feynman Technique with someone else

 

Working with a partner using the Feynman Technique is an excellent idea for your students. Start by asking them to take turns explaining the concept or idea they're learning with a classmate using simple language. 🗣️ 

They’ll soon discover what they are fully confident in explaining and what areas they may be unclear on. The next step is to apply a targeted learning approach to effectively fill in knowledge gaps in their understanding of whatever they’re learning.  

Many students find that practising the Feynman Technique in pairs or groups is a very helpful way to learn, while others prefer using the learning method alone. Revision, like learning, is a subjective experience. We recommend you spend some time trying different techniques to find which suits your students best. 👍

 

Other revision strategies to consider

 

The Feynman Technique is versatile, easy to use, and can be done anywhere. The basis of the technique is explaining a concept, but how your students do this is up to them and can be adapted depending on their learning situation.

For the many tutors who regularly use the Feynman Technique to help their students learn, it’s a very efficient way to ensure that new topics are fully understood. But different techniques and methods work for different people, and other popular learning methods are available too. Make sure to try a variety to find the best ones for your students! 🙌

Apart from using the Feynman technique and following our top 5 revision strategies, our students can also make use of other exam tips to make their revision more effective:

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