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Wednesday, August 03, 2016

If You Think Training Should Make Learning Easy, You Are Doing It Wrong | Learning Solutions Magazine

Certain “desirably difficult” conditions of learning that more actively and effortfully engage learners lead to better long-term learning. In other words, training that makes learning difficult is more effective, according to Veronica Yan, University of California, Los Angeles) postdoctoral researcher at the University of Southern California in the Department of Psychology and Morris Davis, associate professor of history at Drew University. 

Photo: Learning Solutions Magazine

Does that seem shocking to you? Read this article to find out why the common wisdom that says you should make eLearning easy is wrong, and to learn what “desirably difficult” entails.

Have you noticed that while using GPS for directions is an effective way of getting to your destination, it hasn’t significantly improved your knowledge of geography? If you are like most users of maps and satellite data, you probably have found that even if you followed the directions from your GPS device precisely on your first trip to an address, repeating the same trip without the aid of GPS is less successful.

On the other hand, you likely have also found that once you’ve worked to find a location on your own, following verbal directions or even simply driving around looking for an address, you have a much stronger knowledge of where the location is and how to get there.

In other words, even though GPS provides effective guidance to a location through clear and simple directions (i.e., it provides good performance support), it is less effective at teaching you how to get somewhere than if you were putting in more effort with less guidance (i.e., using GPS does not lead to effective learning).

Why does effort help learning? In this article, we explore this question and offer some ideas to help you increase the effectiveness of your eLearning products.

Source: Learning Solutions Magazine