The Science of Successful Learning

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In this session, we discuss strategies that enhance learning, referred to as “desirable difficulties." We cover not only what these strategies are, but why they promote deeper learning, and how they may be incorporated into classroom instruction.

Dr. Veronica Yan, University of California, Los Angeles

We all have an enormous capacity to learn, but — despite being engaged in learning throughout our lives — decades of cognitive research have shown that our intuitions are oftentimes exactly wrong, leading us to choose suboptimal learning strategies over more effective and efficient ones. Despite the temptation to make learning feel easy, research has proven that durable and flexible learning results when it is more effortful. The strategies that enhance learning — through engaging learners in more effortful and elaborative processes — are referred to as “desirable difficulties”. We will cover not only what these strategies are, but also discuss why they promote deeper learning and how they may be incorporated into classroom instruction.

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