What is Spaced Learning?

Wouldn’t it be nice if everything we taught our learners stayed with them forever? Wishful thinking! The reality is that learners naturally forget over time. This concept is not new, in fact, Hermann Ebbinghaus discovered the forgetting curve back in 1885. He also coined the spacing effect. The spacing effect proposes that recall is improved when learning is distributed over time. Ideally, learning sessions are short and focused, incorporate breaks, and are followed by practice at intervals to help maintain and extend retention.

More than Making a Splash

Think about it this way. The traditional, or “massed,” learning approach is like throwing a stone in the water. It is a one-time event. The stone makes a big splash and sends out a few ripples. However, the glassy surface of the water soon returns—leaving no visible evidence that the event ever occurred.

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