Struggling = Learning

The other day, an online colleague of mine, Peter G. Shea, introduced me to the term “disfluent” from the book Smarter, Faster, Better by Charles Duhigg. The term means “harder to process at first but stickier once it was really understood.” The term resonated with me because I believe one of the reasons games are so effective for learning is because struggle is built into the process of playing a game. Most times a player must struggle at first and then, slowly, the game makes sense and mastery is obtained. This is essential to learning and growth.

I’ve written about the importance of failure before in Games, Gamification and the Freedom to Fail but disfluency is a slightly different. With disfluency you don’t fail per say but you struggle, you are required to work through an issue or problem or situation and then you develop the answer.

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