The Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve is one of the best-known results in learning theory. The Curve demonstrates that what humans remember after a learning event drops steeply soon after completion of the event. In fact, within a month, they will forget up to 80% of what they have learned: So, what do we mean when we … Continue reading Learning “Myth” #1: Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve
If the profession of cognitive psychology and its application to learning is a science (as some of us think it is or should be), then there needs to be research evidence to back up our claims about which learning strategies work and which do not. Unfortunately, the profession of adult learning is prone to myths, … Continue reading Learning Myths, Pseudo-Myths, Exaggeration and Hype
In our implementation of confidence-based learning we classify each test taker into one of four categories of confidence accuracy: Green -- this is the goal state. The employee is both knowledgeable and confident. Yellow – the employee is knowledgeable, but is not confident in his/her knowledge Orange – the employee is neither knowledgeable nor confident. … Continue reading Low Competence/ High Confidence: There’s a Name for That
In my workshop on the “Science and Practice of Modern Learning” I like to occasionally throw in a learning myth – things we think we know about learning, but that turn out not to have any research basis. One of the most pernicious myths is that of Learning Styles -- the idea that all individuals … Continue reading The Final Nail in the Coffin for Learning Styles?
I recently came across an interesting study about the value of answering questions out loud. Victor Boucher of the University of Montreal tested student’s ability to memorize lists of words under four conditions. First, the students studied a list of words on a computer. He then divided the students into four groups and had each … Continue reading Answering Questions Out Loud Helps Your Learners to Remember
Continuous learning encompasses a number of learning strategies, one of which is spaced review after the completion of a course. This review can be in the form of adaptive questioning exercises, subscription-based micro-lessons, or some combination of the two. Which raises a question: For long term retention what is the optimal period of spacing for … Continue reading What is the Optimal Spacing for Review?
Aristotle (philosopher), Thomas Edison (inventor) and Jean Piaget (cognitive psychologist) all had similar thoughts about learning. Can you see the common thread? Aristotle: Exercise in repeatedly recalling a thing strengthens the memory. Edison: A man will resort to almost any expedient to avoid the real labor of thinking. Piaget: Thinking is interiorized action. Yes, they … Continue reading Active Learning Through the Ages (Literally)
In our quest to teach and to learn who is the good guy? Remembering, of course. And who is the bad guy? Forgetting, of course. Well, not so fast. While you may not think so, forgetting is an important part of the learning process. Forgetting benefits us in multiple ways: It frees our brains up … Continue reading In Defense of Forgetting
I recently had an article published in the Spring 2016 issue of Focus, the magazine of the Life Science Trainers and Educators Network (LTEN). It's on a topic that is critical to all trainers and instructional designers: How can we build instruction that doesn't overload the brain's capacity to process it? Here it is: http://bit.ly/1QzWLpN
A week or so ago in his column in the NY Times David Brooks mentioned recent research on the differences between how we read on screen versus how we read on paper (here). This got me thinking about what this means for learning. With so many of our courses having transitioned from print to eLearning over … Continue reading eLearning vs. Print: Is there a difference in learning?