Spaced Learning: What is it and how does it work?

June 17, 2022

Let’s go back in time. Remember those big, fat books and the huuuuuge chunks of information you had to process at school? That was so much fun, right? 🙃 Do you also remember any of the details? Or even the general idea? I don’t want to make assumptions, but I think the answer might be: ‘No.’ This is called ‘Ebbinghaus Curve of forgetting’ or also known as ‘The forgetting curve’.

Some of you may have already been introduced to online learning –or eLearning– while in school, some of you might not have been. If you have experienced eLearning before, what did you think of it? Was the eLearning adapted to a different way of learning or was the information simply put together in an online course book or presentation? Or even those dreadful, low-quality video recordings of classes that go on and on and on? Have you ever heard about or experienced microlearning before? That is the way to Learn Different.

Microlearning is ‘learning on the go’ at times when it suits learners’ busy schedules. It is about making sure the information is presented in ‘bitesize’ chunks, so you can easily retain it. When you know that the average attention span is about 7 minutes ⏱, then you see the great strength of this way of learning. Microlearning becomes even more efficient when combined with gamification and repetition.

We, at UQalify, believe microlearning is the way forward. We believe that adults simply haven’t got the time or energy to learn something in a more traditional way. I don’t know about you, but I’m way too busy living my life to spend hours and hours behind my (digital) textbooks. 📚 We do however believe that everybody is interested in learning new skills or acquiring more knowledge. We believe in something called Spaced learning.

‘Spaced Learning?’, I hear? Do you remember the forgetting curve we talked about earlier, where you lose knowledge if you don’t actively put in any effort to revise it? Well, spaced learning is about spreading course material over a longer period. You don’t just need one long study session, but you learn the material in study sessions of 3 to 5 minutes. Every session reviews the content of the previous one. This allows you to (almost) forget the information, but by reviewing the information frequently, your brain works harder to remember. In the beginning, it will take you some time to remember what you’ve learned before, but the harder your brain is challenged, the more you’ll remember it in the future.

If you combine spaced learning with microlearning, you can learn when and where you want. Let’s take a typical Saturday. What do you usually do when you’re queuing in the supermarket? Check your social media? Play a game on your phone? Why not checking out a microlearning course instead? Absorbing information, while possibly playing a game? In about 5 minutes’ time, you could finish a module. What do you do when you’re waiting at a bar for your friends to arrive? Check your social media? Play a game on your phone? You see where this is going, right?

Do you have a subject you have always wanted to know more about, but have never found the time to do so? Are you ready to try the microlearning and spaced learning way? Check out our myUQ coach app, maybe there’s something for you!

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