Objectives/Desired end Products
The literature on long-term retention of K&S, ranging from a one-day to a 50-year time interval (see, for example, Bahrick, 1984) is particularly sparse in relating acquisition data meaningfully to the quality, as well as to the durability, of what has been mastered. The quality of learning is a uniquely important attribute which has been relatively neglected by those researchers studying long-term memory in order to influence or to predict the course of forgetting. There has been some recognition, in recent years, by those concerned with the acquisition and short-duration retention of verbal prose material, of the qualitative aspects of the learning process (see Craik, 1979, for a review of some of this work). We will later develop our view of this attribute of quality as a potentially potent construct for explaining and reinterpreting some of the typical findings in the literature on LTR, especially in connection with “overlearning.” If one samples the literature from a great number and variety of sources, the following picture emerges. What one usually measures to gauge whether learning has occurred is, conceptually, the strength of the connections or associations formed. Yet, operationally, the teacher or trainer is measuring the achievement of a particular criterion (often called a mastery criterion) related to acquiring a certain amount of the to-be-learned material or skill, to a set level of accuracy. Occasionally, the learning must be accomplished within some limited period of time. For example, the student is to learn a list of 25 pairs of English-French equivalent nouns so that, given only the English words as his3 cues, he can supply the correct French words with 80% accuracy within a total of five minutes.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.