Applying the science of learning to the university and beyond: teaching for long-term retention and transfer
D.F. Halpern, M.D. Hakel 2003 Change v35 no4 p36-42
The more frequently students are asked to remember something, the better they get at remembering it. Space practice or recall efforts out in time, rather than a battery of attempts in a short period of time.
Changing the context of learning makes the lesson more difficult for students, but results in better learning. For example, instructors may wish to rely on a variety of types of problems for a given principle.
If students have to represent material learned in one format (read or heard, for example) in another format (as a diagram, etc.), they learn it better.
Learning is affected by prior knowledge and experience.
Students need to understand how to learn, especially in particular disciplines that they fear.
Learning gained exclusively from experience is often incorrect, and confidence is not a good indicator of understanding or ability.
Lectures help students recognize ideas, but do not work so well to increase understanding.
When learners are asked to recall some pieces of knowledge, they often forget the pieces that they are not asked to recall.
Deeper coverage of fewer topics is better than a shallow survey. Focus on teaching students things they will need to know once they leave the class.
Students remember classroom activities more than the content of the course.