Novel viewpoints attract us to learn new information about old topics


Novel aspects of common topics help us to learn new information and to observe what we think we know more critically. This is useful to acknowledge when studying topics we find familiar to us and expect to have lots of background information on. Novel examples, surprising consequences, and thought-provoking statistics can make us more open to learn new information on what we thought we already knew.

reflect through
Photo by Yeshi Kangrang / Unsplash
  • Sometimes simple data can be surprising. In a course introduction, presenting statistics that often contradict the prejudices of the participants can help them to adjust their image of things very effectively and also help to memorize the things worth highlighting.
  • Finding case-examples from another context or industry can be a thought-provoking way to approach old topics. It can sometimes also help us to see more clearly how we should apply what has been learned in our own context.
  • Testing our prerequisites knowledge can sometimes be an eye-opening experience. It is often difficult for people to evaluate their knowledge level realistically, and therefore a small prerequisites test before training can be very effective.
  • Extreme examples can help to see the consequences of things under study, even though their probability would be low. When reading a book about a familiar topic, try to picture the extreme cases to understand more concretely the cause and effect relationships under study.

With the topics like information security, safety or leadership, updating your knowledge regularly and deepening your understanding about the basics can be impactful or even crucial.

How can you test your knowledge level of a specific topic?

Can you come up with a viewpoint that could be useful for your team to see their work in a new light?