I was on the Cybex elliptical for some early morning cardio listening to the QuickRead Podcast summarizing the book Unlimited Memory by Kevin Horsley. Here I heard of the PIC method to increase the ability to store long term memory. The PIC method of learning is thinking about your Purpose, Interest, and Curiosity about the topic at hand. No matter the modality of a learning activity, we must ask ourselves what is our purpose for participating, why are we interested, and how can we enhance our curiosity towards the subject matter. Approaching a learning activity this way helps you dial in your concentration and helps you create long term memory to retain new information, clinical pearls, and life lessons.
Let’s look at a Northwest AHEC learning activity for healthcare disciplines. The primary motivator for participating is typically the need for CEUs/credits for continuing professional development licensure compliance. Of course you want the topic to be relevant to your practice and interest is a secondary motivator. We have purpose and interest, but what about curiosity?
It seems to me that curiosity is where our attitude and effort manifest in how we show up in the literal and virtual classroom. Our attention, concentration, and focus are required for us to fully engage ourselves in a learning activity. Exploring your curiosity for new experiences and knowledge might help you determine your intention for optimizing your time spent such as how you want to interact with the faculty and your peers, asking questions from your exploration of the topic, and ultimately set your level of focus for long term knowledge retention – the goal of learning.
I have been fortunate to serve as host and tech for many of our recent activities. This makes the interest level for me a challenge when not related to my own practice and I think exploring curiosity is the key for me to grow my interest and learn from the opportunity regardless. What can I learn from this?
Before your next learning activity try this: ask yourself what is your PIC. Being mindful and intentional about your purpose, interest, and curiosity should set you up for an optimal learning experience.
About the Cybex...listening to podcasts while exercising is multitasking that actually works for me! Horsley mentions how terrible we actually are at multitasking so it is nice to find those physical and mental synergies where we excel.