S P A C E D R E P E T I T I O N

Shola Bold Sep 28, 2017

“Repetition is the Mother of Learning and the Father of Action, which makes it the architect of Accomplishment” — Zig Ziglar

^ That’s an insightful quote from Ziglar, but what exactly does it mean?

Do you remember forgetting all the content you learnt in a class as soon as you were faced with the exam? Remember meeting someone at a social event who you really seemed to gel with but you simply can’t seem to recollect their name? What about engaging in a work meeting, but being unable to recall the items that were discussed the following week?

Ever Heard of the forgetting curve? Or a guy named Ebbinghaus? Well . . .I’ll tell you what I know.

The forgetting curve hypothesizes the decline of memory retention in time. It shows how information is lost over time if there are no active attempts to retain it. The graph’s general trend shows that humans halve their memory within a matter of weeks or days. This is if they have not actively reviewed their learning or content.


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Above is an example of a student’s graph, and as hypothesized by Ebbinghaus within the first few years, without effort to retain, retention in memory has dropped significantly.

According to Ebbinghaus, the speed in which humans forget depends on factors such as level of difficulty, or purpose. Physical factors, for example, amount of sleep and level of stress are also indicators that affect our forgetting rate.

Ebbinghaus suggests to us that each repetition should be at the optimized interval before the next repetition. Initial repetition may have to be in days, but after this, it can be in months or even years.

The Solution is Methodological Spaced Repetition, I reckon that’s what Ziglar is implying.

Spaced repetition is a technique that prevents you forgetting about something. by allowing a topic or a method to stay fresh in the mind. It’s practiced by allowing spaced intervals in-between learning information, then periodically repeating it.

For example, seeing a word a few minutes after the first time you have seen it, then a few days later, then a few weeks later. Furthermore, revealing information exactly when required to be.


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Spaced repetition is essential in learning, allowing the memory to form, to retain, and to advance

According to Ebbinghaus, the speed in which humans forget depends on factors such as level of difficulty, or purpose. Physical factors for example, amount of sleep and level of stress are also indicators that affect our forgetting rate.

Ebbinghaus suggests to us that each repetition should be at the optimized interval before the next repetition. Initial repetition may have to be in days, but after this, it can be in months or even years.

So, putting this into perspective, you may have learnt Conditional Formatting through sitting our Excel Course. When this is fresh in your mind, this is the most effective time that you can, and should practically revise. To keep this at a constant, reviewing in spaced intervals is essential i.e, review 24 hours later, and then a week later, a month later and so on and so forth.


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Duolingo; a super-fun language learning application. Duolingo Teaches language through algorithmic implementation foregrounding spaced repetition. The applications neat use of algorithms determines exactly when words should be practiced, with the intention of implementing the words into the learners long — term memory.

Each stage of learning becomes live when the learner has completed the level before, allowing the learner to practically engage. The app allows the learner to feel a sense of accomplishment with a trumpet fanfare at the end of a successfully completed round. Content is delivered in short learning chunks and allows you to set your own daily goals. This gives the learner short spurts of a challenge, but not an overwhelming feeling of impossibility.


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Not only is Duolingo evidence of effective spaced repetition, it also creates an element of psychological flow. For those of you who don’t know, Flow is the mental state of operation that a person performing an activity is immersed within, with energy and focus. Knowing the task is significant is also a part of flow, if the task or content is relevant and has a purpose or will lead to achievement (i.e. a qualification or university degree), makes the learner keen and increases their flow, leading to a higher rate of adaptivity — successful learning.

As mentioned, because of certain features that allow the learner to feel accomplishment, not overwhelmed and a targeted purpose of learning a language. Duolingo helps us to go with the flow at a S P A C E D P A C E.


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