University of Georgia

Learning by teaching

boy working at whiteboard

A new study conducted by a faculty member in the UGA College of Education was recently featured in an article published by, a best practices website that uses research, technology and consulting to address challenges in the education industry.

Logan Fiorella
Logan Fiorella

Logan Fiorella, an assistant professor in the department of educational psychology, and Richard Mayer, an educational psychologist, found in a recent study that exposing K-12 students to learning by teaching strategies can significantly improve grades.

“If students feel confident enough to explain it to someone else, they might develop a higher self-efficacy,” said Mayer. “That’s going to be motivating to see themselves as competent learners.”

According to the article, learning by teaching could make the difference between getting a C and a B+ or an A- in class—or a difference between one to two grade point leaps.

Fiorella and Mayer believe this teaching strategy may work because students tend to prepare better and make more connections between new material and their existing knowledge when they know they need to teach the material later. When you “mentally re-organize [the material] and integrate it with what you already know—that’s how you make sense out of it,” said Mayer.