How to create: a presentation with the goal of understanding, not just learning

The new learning is called understanding

Creating a presentation with the goal of understanding, not just learning, is really difficult.

When we prepare a presentation we hope that our audience can really learn something from us. We want them to retain our content for a long time. And create a real benefit to them. In short, we want them to understand us.

This week I’m giving my first lecture at the university. My goal is that the studying can really learn something from me. So I’ve been asking myself for weeks: how do I want to impart knowledge? How does exciting teaching work in presence and remotely? And what is fun for the students and really sticks in their minds?

I found some answers in Henning Beck’s book „The new learning is called understanding“. Beck, who works as a neuroscientist, explains how knowledge is not only stored in the long term (learning) but also how the ability to deal with this knowledge is developed (understanding).

I think the book is really good. Therefore, I would like to share a few contents with you that can be helpful for presentations, lectures, exams etc:

  1. there are no learning types. I wanted to start off by providing my information on each lecture topic in auditory, visual, etc. So that each student can acquire the material according to his or her learning type. However, I learned from Beck that it has been clearly disproven scientifically that such learning types exist. Yes, there are preferences, but they do not bring any advantage in terms of learning success.

2. If you want your audience to take away as much as possible, you should not accompany your lecture with a presentation that summarizes what has been said. It is much more effective if the audience writes down the most important points of the presentation by hand (not typing them on a laptop!).

3. Oldschool flashcards are still the best method for memorization. As we repeatedly link old information with new information during the self-recall process, we are thus strengthening the brain’s absorption, processing and consolidation of the learning material.

Such findings are great when it comes to „learning„, but what I think is even more exciting will come in my next post on the topic of „understanding„: how can we train our brains not only to store knowledge but also to develop our own thought models and new ideas based on this knowledge? So stay tuned 😉