Memorisation as Learning

I have, in the past, made fun of learning as being equivalent to memorisation. I still hold to that when the entire definition  of learning is encompassed by memorisation. However, memorisation and being able to fluently recall things, is a foundational component of learning, and it cannot be ignored. In my post on Learning requirements, I suggested that there are two components of learning (I actually think there are three, but one of them is beyond the remit of formal learning environment). The first component is obtaining information. Within that requirement lies the fluent (accurate and quick) recall of the information that you know, which requires memorisation.

Technology and learning research has provided us with tools and techniques that can assist in this fundamental component of learning. SAFMED Cards, the testing effect, spaced learning, mastery based learning: all of these provide methods for learners to reach fluency with information, and most of these proven techniques are ignored by educators. Instead, educators favour reading out summaries of information (Powerpoint Slides) and requiring a recall test sometime later.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a tech firm that built a learning tool that incorporated many of these techniques and tool as a matter of course instead of building a slicker way to present Powerpoint slides with a voiceover reading them and expounding a bit?



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