“College students often don’t know when they’re learning”

Originally posted in our April 2022 Top of Mind Newsletter.

In school, did you dread group work? Whether it was a research paper or group work on a set of problems in science class, many people report feeling frustrated, confused, and annoyed. However, many studies over the years have shown that this type of work yields much better learning outcomes. 

While we all have experienced a boring lecture, when you’re lucky enough to attend a talk with a compelling speaker, we often feel like we are more engaged, totally understanding the topics they are discussing. Interestingly, this feels like we are learning more, but the same studies showing the results of active group learning state that lectures are not nearly as effective. “Real learning is hard work, and it often doesn’t feel good. When you’re struggling to solve a problem in an active learning classroom, it may feel frustrating. Making mistakes and getting feedback to correct misunderstandings is where the learning happens.” 

Active learning is indeed a component of entrepreneurial discovery learning. Entrepreneurs are constantly learning about opportunities to solve problems for others and learning about the needs of others. However, what helps entrepreneurs persevere through the frustrations of active learning is their commitment to creating value. This more purpose-driven approach creates a level of altruism that enables them to keep going and rise to new levels of engagement.

When do we learn?