- Forgetting happens most rapidly soon after learning something and then tapers off after time.
- Learners will first forget content that does not make sense to them
- Most people are more likely to forget what they hear than what they read. This is probably because reading is a more focussed activity than listening.
- Although we may forget the exact words of something we just read, we often remember its meaning.
What does all this mean for learning designers?
- To form a persistent memory, a learner must pay attention to the information, process it deeply and connect it in a meaningful way with existing knowledge.
- A learner’s pre-existing knowledge may compete with newly acquired information. In this case, allow the person time to discriminate between the two types of similar content.
- Practicing informational retrieval can facilitate retention because reconstructing memories alters them and makes them “stronger”.
- Don’t expect learners to remember trivial information. They will most likely forget it after a test.
So, these points give us cause to reconsider how what we are designing can avoid these forgetting potholes.