Practice without cramming can optimise learning, study reveals

The Telegraph:

Quality is just as important as quantity when it comes to practice, a University of Sheffield study has revealed.

The research, which analysed game play data from 850,000 people, has revealed that the way you revise or practise is potentially more important than how often, and can affect how efficiently people learn a skill.

The study found that players who seemed to learn more quickly had either spaced out their practice or had a more variable early performance in the game.

Dr Tom Stafford, a lecturer in Psychology and Cognitive Science at the university, led the study and says that the research suggests people who seem to be exploring at the beginning of the game – showing inconsistencies in behaviour and results – are at an advantage later on.

“If you try too hard never to fail, you don’t explore the parameters of the activity,” says Dr Stafford. “You have to do some exploration, and it is my theory that if you do this exploration, you will perform better in the long run.”

Read the whole story: The Telegraph

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