This probably doesn’t go for everyone, but here’s how it works for me.
As some of you will know by now, I have trouble learning from books, just reading stuff until it gets stuck in my head. That’s not the way I roll. Hell, I also have trouble keeping my eyes open in class. It’s just sitting there, listening to someone talk about things you’re supposed to understand thanks to their little lecture. Sometimes you have to do an exercise or something, but that’s it. I’d rather you just drop me into deep, ice-cold water.
Okay, well, deep ice-cold water implies there’d be a lot of pressure on me as well. I don’t like that, so get that out of the picture. But then you basically have my perfect learning environment. Tell me to do x (where x is something I know nothing of), and I’ll get to work. I’ll study up, and learn as I go. I don’t have to take multiple steps to get from the “I learnt it” to the “I applied it” phase, and so stuff generally sticks better, especially since the application is directly relevant to me, instead of having to try to relate to some weird example. The fact that I’m on my own, and have to look everything up myself helps tremendously as well.
It basically is just disguising the learning progress as a fun project, but I don’t really care. It works, it’s fun, and I actually get shit done that way.