I’m reading your post as an example of an active learning strategy. At what point do you verify that your concept is correct? Do you stop when it feels “satisfying and like the concept has clicked into place”? Or do you test your concept, for example against textbook exercises?
Good question! I stop the “conceptual pathfinding” process when the concept has clicked into place.
Textbook exercises are a great way of testing your understanding, of course. But I think the signal of “this feels like it’s making sense” is important, and usually precedes being ready to work on problem sets. Textbook exercises are a way of going beyond the limits of feeling like a concept makes sense and probing the gaps in your knowledge.
Conceptual pathfinding functions as a second way to identify and fill in those gaps, one that’s complementary to exercises.