Studies Find 'Desirable Difficulties' Help Students Learn
When learning seems "easy" students pick wrong study strategies
Emerging research suggests that, contrary to what students may think, material that’s easy to understand is not always easy to learn—and working harder can help them hold on to what they’ve learned.
It’s a typical school scenario: A student strolls into class on test day, telling classmates he crammed the night before and certain he will ace the exam, only to be confounded by how little he actually remembers from hours of studying.
The cause of that pitfall is something cognitive researchers call the “stability bias,” which means that people rely too much on current memory to predict how well they will learn and remember something in the future. In other words, people think they will remember material better if it is...
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