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How is effort maintained when laziness is the course of least resistance?

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Fig.1. EBook grab from ‘Thinking fast and slow’ Daniel Kahneman (2011)

This is crucial stuff. It has stopped me in my tracks. You can see how far I have or have not got with the reading – an article in the Scientific American and a lengthy paper published while at Princeton have already hi-jacked my mind. Then we get this.

Here is the problem with some interactive learning and before that video based learning – indeed any kind fo learning. It does not pay to make it easy. If you spoon feed your learners will they engage? Will it stick? Will anything much at all go on in the head to generate a memory?

Oblinging the learner to make an effort is just the start – it is no good their repeating the same exercise as they will quite naturally learn how to do it, randomization of a lengthy set of difficult multiple choice questions might be a start – randomized introduction of a variety of metpahors, examples and tasks would be better. Getting them away from a desktop screen, mixing up applied, placement learning with on the job learning is vital too. Variety, human interaction, challenges and sometimes the unexpected must surely be vital?

The test of course, isn’t just a test of the learner, but a test of the systems as a method of knowledge sharing or task efficiency – does it work? Do leaners coming out at the end still know and apply their stuff the next day, week or month?

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