Deep Diving Into the Cone of Experience: Discovering the Secrets of Effective Learning

A finding that changed my view on learning

Do you know that feeling when you discover something new, and you can instantly feel the positive impact? Some people call it "aha moments".

This recently happened to me on Medium. I was reading a story from my friend Janine and ended up in front of The Cone of Experience, by Edgar Dale.

Today I'll share with you my thoughts about this amazing infographic and how you can boost your learning experience.

Let's dive into it!

Introducing the Cone of Experience

This model describes the different retention levels, based on the way of learning we follow.

We identify these learning methods:

  • Passive learning: We let the information pass through our brain (read, hear, see).
  • Active learning: We place the information into our brain by taking action (say, write, do)
Infographic is made by eLearning Industry

We can see there's a huge gap in retention levels between passive and active learning. It's possible to retain up to 90% by using active simulation of what we want to learn.

Sharing my personal experience

I love reading. I read tons of books every year. So I came up with one strategy for increasing my retention of the content relevant to me.

We could say is a three-step strategy:

  • Step 1: Read the book on Kindle and highlight the text I want to process and remember later.
  • Step 2: Once the book is finished, export all my notes to Notion.
  • Step 3: Process all my notes by adding a personal comment.

As you can see, I'm using both passive (read) and active learning (export and add comments) methods, so the chances to remember something are high.

By the way, if you would like to deep dive into this process, let me know in the comments below.


It doesn't matter if you're a student or a C-level executive. We all need to retain stuff at some point. 

I'm sure you could fit your past learning experiences in any of the cone levels. I invite you to do so and share it below. 

I would love to read your comments. If you prefer you can also send me a DM on Twitter.

By the way, if you liked what you read, let's connect. 

June 14, 2023


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