Spacing Effect

We remember things better when repeated over time and across environments

We forget quickly, but the greater the number of cognitive associations we develop with an idea, the more likely we’ll remember it forever…

Butler et. al., (2014). Integrating cognitive science and technology improves learning in a STEM classroom. Educational Psychology Review.

The study

Setup

40 students were taught a topic and either given the respective homework once instantly or 3 times over the next 3 weeks. They then had an exam a month later. 

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Results

Those who had the homework spaced out over time performed much better in the exam than those who were asked to do it immediately  after learning.

np_read_2490885_000000

In detail

Key Takeaways

Spread out the learning.

Research shows that spaced repetition is the most robust means of learning but is rarely used by companies. Most knowledge is delivered once and forgotten, wasting money and time. Develop shorter learnings spread over time, using different tools, both digital and physical.

Use it or lose it.

Knowledge only sticks when we use it. After reading a book chapter, summarize learnings into bullet points, a list of actions, or even better, become the teacher. Blinkist could send some simple interactive questions after readers have finished a book. Use Slack app QuickQuiz to follow up Lunch & Learns with a Tiny Habit of bite-size questions. 

Make progress trackable.

Learnings apps like Duolingo and Memrise create powerful Feedback Loops through points systems, daily goals and leaderboards to create positive reinforcement. Tracking progress gives us a sense of growth and improvement.

Spacing Effect

We remember things better when repeated over time and across environments

We forget quickly, but the greater the number of cognitive associations we develop with an idea, the more likely we’ll remember it forever…

Butler et. al., (2014). Integrating cognitive science and technology improves learning in a STEM classroom. Educational Psychology Review.

The study

Setup

40 students were taught a topic and either given the respective homework once instantly or 3 times over the next 3 weeks. They then had an exam a month later. 

Results

Those who had the homework spaced out over time performed much better in the exam than those who were asked to do it immediately  after learning.

Key Takeaways

Spread out the learning.

Research shows that spaced repetition is the most robust means of learning but is rarely used by companies. Most knowledge is delivered once and forgotten, wasting money and time. Develop shorter learnings spread over time, using different tools, both digital and physical.

Use it or lose it.

Knowledge only sticks when we use it. After reading a book chapter, summarize learnings into bullet points, a list of actions, or even better, become the teacher. Blinkist could send some simple interactive questions after readers have finished a book. Use Slack app QuickQuiz to follow up Lunch & Learns with a Tiny Habit of bite-size questions. 

Make progress trackable.

Learnings apps like Duolingo and Memrise create powerful Feedback Loops through points systems, daily goals and leaderboards to create positive reinforcement. Tracking progress gives us a sense of growth and improvement.

Spacing Effect

We remember things better when repeated over time and across environments

We forget quickly, but the greater the number of cognitive associations we develop with an idea, the more likely we’ll remember it forever…

The study

Setup

40 students were taught a topic and either given the respective homework once instantly or 3 times over the next 3 weeks. They then had an exam a month later. 

Results

Those who had the homework spaced out over time performed much better in the exam than those who were asked to do it immediately  after learning.

np_read_2490885_000000

In detail

Pairings

Experience

Avoid overwhelming new people by spacing info over time

When being onboarded to a new product or company, we're at great risk of being overwhelmed by all the many new things to learn.

Ask yourself: what is fundamental for now, and how might you spread out subsequent knowledge over time? As well as anything new, consider using the Spacing Effect to remind of what has already been learned, to reinforce it in memory and highlight progress.

Connected to

Running workshops?

Spacing Effect

is included in Box One of our physical workshop tool.
is included in Box Two of our physical workshop tool.
Box One