The Bucket And Water Analogy
Let’s be honest, our brain is like a leaky bucket. While the leaky bucket analogy may sound like a negative connotation, it’s perfectly normal. Unless you were born with a photographic memory, our brains weren’t designed to remember every fact, information, or experience that we go through in our lives.
How To Remember 90% Of Everything You Learn?
The development of the Learning Pyramid in the 1960’s — widely attributed to the NTL Institute in Bethel, Maine— outlined how humans learn.
As research shows, it turns out that humans remember:
5% of what they learn when they’ve learned from a lecture (i.e. university/college lectures)
10% of what they learn when they’ve learned from reading (i.e. books, articles)
20% of what they learn from audio-visual (i.e. apps, videos)
30% of what they learn when they see a demonstration
50% of what they learn when engaged in a group discussion.
75% of what they learn when they practice what they learned.
90% of what they learn when they use immediately (or teach others)
Now if speak in the context of dental assisting education. It is pretty difficult to apply everything we learned. “Gram-negative bacteria are associated with periodontitis while gram-positive bacteria are associated with gingivitis!” That sounds really smart but our patients may not comprehend that. And we cram a lot of information in our head in a short period of time because we have a school exam in #DASchool next week, or the Dental Assisting National Boards® Exam next month. Applying all of that is great, but not completely realistic.
But here is what we can do: Take the quiz as soon as we study a chapter. Then we are applying the knowledge. And whatever you have learned, share that with your friend via Facebook, text, or conversation. “Minerals do NOT produce energy, but they are essential parts of our body growth. There are two types of minerals – micro and macro!” Your friend will appreciate that, and if that comes up on the exam, you earned your friends love forever.
Here is an image of the quiz in SmarterDA Dental Assisting Boards Review. Select the answer and get instant feedback with a really comprehensive explanation. I know from experience that short explanation doesn’t do anything to enhance my knowledge, so knowing answer choices A, B, C, and D is crucial. Now make sure that you share this new finding with your friend, and actually TEACH them. That’s how you can retain 90% of the knowledge.
The point is “BE ACTIVE.”
Don’t let the knowledge leak out of the bucket. Do something to retain it. SmarterDA has quizzes after each chapter so you can measure your knowledge immediately.
If you have any ideas how SmarterDA can improve to serve more students taking the CDA®, NELDA®, COA®, CPFDA® and CRFDA®, please email me at ClaireJ@SmarterDA.com and support@SmarterDA.com!
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Author: Claire RDH, MS
Claire is the founder of StudentRDH and SmarterDA – exams prep solutions for the dental hygiene and dental assisting students. The online solutions deliver content of the highest quality through the latest e-learning technology. According to some students, studying is now “addictive!” Prior to her career in the dental field, Claire Jeong was an education specialist at Boston Children’s Museum. Claire is licensed to practice in the United States as well as Canada. She provides personalized mentorship and can be reached at ClaireJ@SmarterDA.com and support@SmarterDA.com.
Disclaimer: CDA®, NELDA®, COA®, CPFDA® and CRFDA® are registered trademarks of the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. (“DANB”). This article is not sponsored or endorsed by or affiliated with the DANB.