For both educators and LMS course creators, the effectiveness of your material will depend on how organically you’re able to work in the essential repetition that builds on itself.
As I’ve written about previously, repetition and memorization are the basic building blocks of knowledge. My history teacher used to say, “You can’t make up an empty mind.” I remember recalling this phrase in a college classroom where one particular professor sat back and allowed student dialogue to rule the classroom (a pedagogical approach that’s increasingly popular in humanities departments). I wanted to hear what my professor knew; I wanted to get the basic building blocks of the course material before we were to do any group discussion.
I wouldn’t have minded having to memorize a few facts, ingest a few critical texts or novels (it was a literature class), in order to then climb the “skill ladder” at a swifter speed. And indeed, that is the fastest way to climb any skill ladder—with repetition and transforms the unknown into the known.
The problem is, how can LMS course creators or educators design material that includes repetition without losing students’ interest?
Learning, after all, is seldom its own reward. Even if you’ve put together the most exciting and intellectually stimulating LMS course ever made, the point of taking your training courses is the new skill or knowledge hoped to be gained—not the joy of learning in itself. Both children and adults learn for different motivations—children for stickers and shining report cards, and adults for the practical new skill that they’ll be obtaining. So the best way to include repetition is to create activities and learning sessions which allow students to immediately put into hands-on practice what they’ve learned.
The more repetition/practice your course includes, the more confidence students gain, not only in their own abilities, but in the ability of the course to effectively weave in repetition that enables them to climb the skill ladder.
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