Thursday, April 5, 2012

Strive to Develop Automaticity in Learners

Automaticity can be defined as “the status of any knowledge or skill that has been used so many times that it can be activated from long-term memory and applied using minimal working memory resources.” (Clark, Nguyen & Sweller,   Efficiency in Learning: Evidence-Based Guidelines to Manage Cognitive Load, 2006).

Skills become automatic after repeated rehearsals of the activity. Multiple instances of performing a task helps learners develop automaticity with tasks and skills.

In other words, Drill and Practice actually works. In our world of “accelerated elearning” and “faster is better”, we often forget that it takes time, as many as two thousand times to actually “learn” to do something effectively and without thinking. So the next time you are wondering whether or not you should add a little extra practice time in your learning design…the answer is yes!

Kapp Notes (


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