Veronica Yan portrait
Monday March 25
Brown Bag Colloquium Series: Veronica Yan, Ph.D.

These informal lunch talks allow faculty to share their research with peers and students. We hope to encourage collaboration and awareness of the latest topics in our field.

Veronica Yan, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Psychology

Sequencing Learning for Long-term Retention

Learners often enter the learning situation with the assumption that "learning should feel easy." What research from cognitive psychology demonstrates, however, is that the effective learning strategies that make learning stick are often the ones that introduce difficulties, engaging learners more effortfully and elaborately. In this talk, we will focus on one particularly counterintuitive strategy: interleaving. When there are multiple related concepts to learn, the typical approach is to focus on learning one thing at a time (blocking). Research demonstrates, however, that mixing up study or practice of different concepts (interleaving) can enhance discrimination and be much more effective, even though it feels more difficult. This interleaving effect generalizes across learners with different working memory capacity, and across visual and concept materials.