First Think It, Then Ink It! (reposted)

You’ve just delivered some important content via a lecture to a class of adult learners. You want them to remember the content, so how do you help them do just that? Here are three quick ways to ensure that your adult learners will remember what you’ve taught them.


Stop lecturing. After a moment of silence, instruct your learners to think about the content you just delivered. Give them another moment of silence to do this. Then suggest that they do one of the following:

1. They write a short summary of the content in their own words.
2. They write a short explanation about why it is important for them to know what they just learned, or how they can use the information.
3. They write three quiz questions (and the answers) about the content.

If time permits, have them read their responses to one or two people seated near them. Or you can ask for a few volunteers to read their responses aloud.

blog5This type of short, quick review activity is often called a “Think and Write” or a “Rapid Reflection” (FYI: You can also make up your own title for it). It is a quick, one-minute review that engages all learners and helps move information into long-term memory. As such, you can use it with all ages, all group sizes, and all topics. In fact, try it out at community, church, or school meetings, with kids when doing homework, or anytime you want anyone to remember what he or she has heard.

With a “Think and Write,” learners cover important content three ways:

1st: They hear you say it.
2nd: They think about what they’ve heard.
3rd: They have to put the information into their own words as they write it down.

In effect, when you encourage your adult learners to “think it, then ink it,” you’ve significantly increased their ability to remember the important content you’ve just covered – and that’s exactly what you hoped would happen!