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How to Learn Faster and Grow More With a Feedback Loop

Written by Leon Ho
Founder & CEO of Lifehack
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Learning is a crucial part of life, and the feedback loop is an important part of learning. Learning leads to fulfillment in your hobbies, career, and business. Learning is also a cure for depression and discontentment concerning your career pursuits.

Learning is a skill that you need to cultivate all through life. If you want to master any knowledge or skill, you need to learn how to learn.

Without an effective learning process, you may end up repeating the same learning styles with no significant impact on your personal growth and development.

You will continue to have a limited time as you progress on your career pathway. So, what can help you evaluate your learning strategies and adjust where necessary? The feedback loop is a useful tool that can get you started.

What Is the Feedback Loop?

The feedback loop is a process where a learner analyzes information about their performance and leverages it to optimize the quality of their learning methods or style. Whether it’s a positive feedback loop or negative feedback loop, all types of feedback can have an effect on how we go about learning, helping us improve it in the long run.

Here’s a breakdown of this definition:

  • Learner: The focus is on what the learner can do instead of the comments. Several parties could provide relevant feedback, and those parties include the teacher, the learner, his or her peers, or automated systems.
  • Appreciation: This is a major setback in feedback design. How do we appreciate or make sense of a concept? What are the skills required by the learners for learning to take place? What characteristics of the process enhance adequate appreciation or sense-making?
  • Information: What sort of feedback or information is relevant to the learners (individualized, detailed, personalized, multiple sources, task-oriented, thinking oriented, etc.)?
  • Performance: Should feedback be given on a single performance or the total overall performance?
  • Effect: How does the learner measure the impact of the feedback?
  • Quality: Feedback details need to focus on improvement. What would be the benchmark?

The purpose of a feedback loop is to establish a progression in learning. It will frequently occur in all subject areas where positive or negative feedback occurs.

How to Create a Feedback Loop

You can organize the feedback process by following the steps below.

1. Establish Goals and Definite Outcomes

Define your learning goals, the proficiency level you aspire to attain, and when you desire to achieve the desired level.

You can utilize a S.M.A.R.T goal technique in establishing your goals. Remember, goals are mental signals that inform you of the direction you want to go. The results or outcomes are the ends, the actual reward of the labor.

Specify the outcomes of your learning activities to make informed decisions on what you intend to learn, how you will learn it (online education, self-education, or classroom learning), and why you desire to learn.

2. Move From Simple to Complex Elements

Unrealistic expectations are the biggest challenge that causes learners to give up. If you don’t want to sign up for failure before you ever start, begin with the simple elements instead of jumping to the complex concepts.

Failure is imminent when you skip the smallest concept and take on new learning tasks with the expectation of completing the new skill in a short timeframe. Set realistic time frames during the feedback loop if you don’t want to be frustrated, get burnt out, or drive yourself insane.


Always recall the Japanese “kaizen” concept, which says: Make small improvements every day.

It takes consistency and accumulation of smaller steps to achieve a bigger learning goal. We achieve giant strides when we are motivated during the learning process

3. Test Yourself

You need to evaluate yourself to know if you are learning or wasting time. Tests, not necessarily in the form of an examination, will offer proof to help you check if your learning style is effective.

Here are some ways to test yourself:

  • Conduct an in-depth discussion on the subject
  • Receive positive reviews on a job that leverages the new skill
  • Estimate the task efficiency before gaining the expertise and after learning the skill
  • Participate in an online test to test your knowledge
  • Take online courses to check your previous knowledge and discover any knowledge gaps

4. Teach Others

This strategy has worked for me several times. If you want to learn faster, find someone to teach that knowledge you have gained as part of the feedback loop.

Teaching is also a learning strategy. It compels you to unleash your ingenuity and view the concepts from different perspectives[1]. You simplify complex concepts to help the learner understand when you teach. This also solidifies the knowledge you have gained as you remember and organize your learning into different learning compartments.

As Albert Einstein said,

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

5. Reflect

No one wants to waste time utilizing a learning style or learning in a way that produces no significant learning outcome. So, by doing a self-reflection during a feedback loop, you identify the challenges you have throughout the learning process.

Ask yourself: How far have you progressed towards the learning goal? Do you think you can move to a higher aim or proficiency level with the feedback loop?


6. Find a Mentor

Mentorship is a great resource, as a mentor will guide you on how to grasp a concept faster and holistically. They can utilize real-life experiences and ideas you will not find in courses and books. They can also easily detect the gaps in your skillset and offer constructive criticism that you can analyze later.

Not only that, but mentors can inspire you when you face daunting challenges. They can remind you of your previous achievements and show you the abilities that you possess. Most times, we forget our strengths and focus on our weaknesses.

This article can help you find a suitable mentor: How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed

The Bottom Line

Feedback becomes a crucial component of continuous growth and development when a culture of learning and growth is created. With the feedback loop, you can learn new goals while working on models to apply feedback throughout the learning process.

More Tips on Learning Faster

Featured photo credit: Humble Lamb via unsplash.com


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