Learning Drivers: many things matter in the learning process, some of them are external and others are internal. (Jensen, 34) Learning also (places) demands on prior knowledge. (Pasupathi, Lecture 14)

The best learning occurs when students are given opportunities to develop their capacities to think, interpret, and become engaged in subject matter. It therefore behooves educators to become mentors not only of the subject matter taught, but also of the “memory” and “retention” process. Brain-based research has yielded strategies that improve students’  “receiving,” “encoding,” “storing,” and “retrieving” of information. (Willis, 19) Editor's note - includes drivers that enhance or inhibit learning.


Active Learning Time: the proportion of time within a lesson that students are actively engaged with the task of learning the objectives. (Johnson, 352)

Clarity: a sentence that is printed in a clear font, vivid color, or simple language will be fluently processed with cognitive ease. (Kahneman, 59) A new word is more likely to be recognized as familiar if it is shown in sharper contrast than some other words in a list. (Kahneman, 61)

Coherence: the action or fact of sticking together. Logical or clear interconnection or relation; consistency; congruity of substance, tenor, or general effect. Context; immediately surrounding discourse. (Oxford) The essential feature of “associative activation” in the brain. Each element is connected, and each supports and strengthens the others. (Kahneman, 51)

Distinctiveness: serving to differentiate or distinguish; peculiar to one person or thing as distinct from others, characteristic; having well-marked properties. (Oxford) Considering details that render an item unique. (Noice, 2)

Elaboration: imaginative embellishment. (Noice, 1) Worked out or accomplished in great detail; full of detail, intricate, complicated. (Oxford)

Familiarity: words that you have seen before become easier to see again-you can identify them better than other words when they are shown very briefly or masked by noise. You will be quicker to read them than to read other words. You experience greater cognitive ease in perceiving a word you have seen earlier, and it is this sense of ease that gives you the impression of familiarity. (Kahneman, 59-61)

Learning Reward: used in the Scientific Learning (company’s) (computer) program for children Fast Forward. Each time a child is rewarded, his brain secretes such neurotransmitters as “dopamine” and “acetylcholine,” which help consolidate the “synaptic changes” he has just made (using) the program. Dopamine reinforces the reward, and acetylcholine helps the brain “tune in” and 'sharpen' memories. (Doidge, 71)

Mnemonic: device that helps memorize information. For example, the mnemonic Roy G. Biv is commonly used to recall the order of the seven colors in the rainbow. (McCornack, 160) Intended or designed to aid the memory. Of or pertaining to memory. (Oxford)

Mood Congruence: matching one’s mood to the emotional (attractiveness or aversiveness) of the material. (Noice, 1) An encoding specificity phenomenon in which a given mood tends to evoke memories that are consistent with that mood. Research has consistently shown that current mood influences the kinds of memories recalled. A specific emotional state can (also) act as a “retrieval cue.” (Hockenbury, 232) Also referred to as ‘mood congruency.’

Multimedia: the simultaneous presentation of information using more than one mode of information transmission. Media include text, graphics, animations, photographs, video, sounds, and auditory words. (Najjar, 4)

Pictorial Superiority Effect: the more visual an input, the more likely it is to be recognized - and recalled. If information is presented orally, people remember about 10 percent, tested 72 hours after exposure. That figure goes up to 65 percent if you add a picture. (Medina, 233-234) Visual processing features in our brain are so powerful they will dominate and change your perceptions of things based solely on visual perception, even if other information from other senses is telling you something contradictory. (Medina, BSP37)

Self-Referencing: relating material personally to oneself. (Noice, 1)