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Learning processes - Critical factors

This section describes, based on scientific studies, the critical factors for the success of procedural learning. Of course, learning time is always an important factor in learning, but the content and learning environment also play an important role. Thus, greater learning success can be achieved in a given learning time by observing favorable framework conditions. Many scientific studies have examined the influence of learning conditions and environment on learning success. The results of individual and particularly interesting studies, such as variable learning studies, are presented here.

Practically, the learning environment should be as "rich" as possible, both in terms of learning tasks, learning materials, but also in terms of the approaches, because we learn with all our senses. If learning is based on the generation and storage of "new" information, the learning environment must also provide appropriate feedback. The learning environment should also be adapted to the individual's level of competence and learning progress. In a playful learning environment, most of these critical factors are well represented. Each child can then, depending on their individual circumstances, extract the information they need to learn.


The role of feedback

Feedback is always necessary in the learning process to distinguish the right solutions from the wrong ones. Intrinsic feedback occurs automatically during the execution of a task, external feedback may be necessary where success or mistakes are not self-evident. The frequency of feedback required also depends on the existing level of performance.

Variable learning and transfer

Transfer means that the information absorbed during the learning phase must be permanently stored. When the same or a similar task needs to be solved, this information can then be retrieved. Many studies have shown that the success of transfer is highly dependent on the learning conditions.

The illusion of learning

The learning illusion is that in certain learning situations, especially constant ones, performance improves during training but declines sharply during transfer. On the other hand, many experiments have shown that under more difficult learning conditions, for example with variable tasks, performance improves less during training but leads to much better transfer performance.

Internal / external focus

In the case of a skilled move or skill, it is always beneficial to focus on the external consequences of the action, rather than the execution of the movement required internally to achieve it. External focus supports the execution of automatic movements that are no longer subject to conscious movement control during movement execution. Internal focus, on the other hand, appears to be useful only when a movement has either not yet been learned and automated, or when danger is imminent.

Learning requires a challenge (Challenge Point)

For effective learning, the right level of challenge must be found. Maximum training success is achieved with optimal difficulty and complexity of a task. The difficulty of the task must also be individually tailored to the student's level of performance.

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