Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Last Things Last!: Or What Is The Recency Effect?

 There is psychological phenomenon called the "Recency Effect" gives incoming information a stronger influence on the memory than previously received information.

How can we use the Recency Effect in teaching?

When teaching, we usually use more than just pure content.  There are also other factors like organization or something to enhance the atmosphere. So, what we say before we let students dance, should be relevant to what they are supposed to train.  E.g. the three main points you just discussed for 5 minutes summed up in one sentence.

Another place where you can use the Recency Effect is in the end of the class. Here you can give a short summary or recapitulate what was important in class.

You can also try to use the Recency Effect in areas other than verbal information, such also feelings and impressions. If you finish your class with something positive, the class will likely stay positive in the minds of the students. This is also good, since this is better for learning and also for motivation.