We all know that our muscles improve with use. If we start lifting weights we gradually get stronger and, over time, can lift heavier weights. If we begin running regularly we will improve our speeds. But what about memory? Does the analogy with our muscles work? Will our memories improve if we “exercise” them? When … Continue reading Learning Myth #10: Memory is like a muscle. The more you use it the stronger it gets.
Last week we showed the results of a survey that provided evidence that learners overwhelmingly choose to study for an exam by re-reading the course material, to the exclusion of other more effective study methods. But what about confidence? Who is more confident: learners who restudy or learners who take practice tests? And how does … Continue reading You Have a Test. Have You Studied? Good. Are You Confident? Not So Fast.
When faced with an exam how do our learners actually study? We know from a lot of research that testing is a much more effective means of learning than re-reading. But, do students know this? And if they do know this, do they practice it? In 2009 Karpicke, Butler and Roediger surveyed 177 undergraduates at … Continue reading How Do Learners Actually Study?
Last week we wrote about long term memory and memorization. Usually when people talk about long term memory they fail to distinguish that learners have two types: Explicit (or declarative) memory Implicit (or non-declarative) memory Explicit memory is things you know, that you can express in words. For example: Albany is the capital of New … Continue reading We Have Two Kinds of Long Term Memory and Each Is Important for Learning and Performance
Way down at the bottom of Bloom’s Taxonomy is “knowledge” (Original Taxonomy) or “remembering” (Revised Taxonomy), otherwise pejoratively referred to as "memorization." Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy Any instructional designer worth his or her salt knows that we never … Continue reading In Defense of Memorization
Is the 70-20-10 rule a learning myth? Not exactly. But did you ever wonder where those numbers come from or do you just accept them? For those not familiar with the 70-20-10 approach to training, a quick explanation: The idea is that in a corporate environment training comes in many forms and that the optimal … Continue reading Learning Myth #9: 70-20-10
Anyone who has been around the fields of education and training for a while (as I have) knows that our field is prone to fads and herd mentality, seizing on the next bright shiny object -- whatever it may be. And now, the use of virtual reality (VR) is being strongly promoted by a number … Continue reading Is Virtual Reality Effective as a Training Methodology?
Personalized learning is the holy grail of education. Imagine if each learner had an educational plan customized exactly to his/her strengths and weaknesses? Back in 1984, Benjamin Bloom (yes, the same one from Bloom’s Taxonomy) published a research paper that showed the benefits of one-on-one tutoring. Bloom demonstrated that one-on-one tutoring can have a huge … Continue reading The Promise of Personalized Learning
How often have you heard someone say: “I’m a left-brained person.”? By which, they presumably mean, “I’m logical and analytical.” The notion of “brainedness” (analogous to “handedness”) is pretty prevalent in our culture. Some companies have even claimed to develop training materials that are optimized for either left-brained or right-brained thinkers. But what does the … Continue reading Learning Myth #8: People Are Either Left-Brained or Right-Brained
Large numbers of studies have demonstrated the benefits of repeated testing. Requiring learners to retrieve and process previously learned information reinforces what they know and strengthens the neural connections, leading to long term retention. Most of these studies use classic experimental design. They split a learning group in two: One group studies in the normal … Continue reading The Benefits of No Stakes Quizzing