Spaced Learning –
On our last blog, we touched on a number of learning trends that are popular this year.
This time, I want to look at one of those in a little more detail.
Let’s begin with a truth. The theory of Spaced Learning is old. Older than you are. Older than I am. Much older. German psychologist, Herman Ebbinghaus is credited with the discovery of both the ‘forgetting curve’ and the ‘spacing effect’ back in the 1880s. This is important because it shows that memory is not just about remembering; it’s also about not forgetting. You following so far? Stay with me.
Ebbinghaus realised that, by themselves, new memories will fade over time. With repetition, the memories become stronger and become more resistant to forgetting. So, by allowing a gap between study-sessions, you will remember more than by cramming for one long session. So far, so good. We’ve probably all been told this before by at least one good teacher.
Now, how can we apply this to the digital age? Well, with today’s learning tools, we have the ability to track the gaps in our knowledge. We can also learn about a given subject in a number of different contexts. This further reinforces the learning experience. Let me show you.
Let’s use this example to learn about –
This course is separated into a number of modules.
Take a look at the first module. This is a plot summary in Slides –
Now, take a 10 min break. Go for a walk around the block. Smell a flower. Clear your head. OK, now back in the room.
Next, we again see the Plot Summary, but this time presented in a Mind Map –
The same information is presented in a different context. This helps the brain form stronger connections with the memory. Take another quick break. Give your subconscious a chance to ‘background’ the data.
Okay, now we take a quiz on what we have covered in the course –
With educational software, like GoConqr, we can track our incorrect answers. Seeing where we went wrong allows us to focus on that area, the next time we revise a subject. This is how we study smarter, not longer.
Now you give it a try.