Learning Theory

At SchoolOnline, we want to make sure that your children are maximising their learning, and thereby their outcomes, when they are learning and revising online. 

Sticky Learning is vital for us – in a nutshell, it means that children actually remember, long term, what they are learning. We use two key strategies for this – Retrieval Practice and Micro Learning. Read on to find out more about each of these.

So what is Sticky Learning?

Did you know … humans naturally forget more than 70% of what they learned within 24 hours? 

This is why Sticky Learning is fundamental to our approach, facilitating learning that stays in the long-term memory and can be used to succeed throughout your child’s education.

What is Sticky Learning?

Sticky Learning – or “stickiness” – is how the brain learns and retains
information. In order to create learning that ‘sticks’ (content that students
remember after the lesson is over), the brain must be activated for long-term retention, using learning strategies based on cognitive and neurological science.

Why do we want to achieve Sticky Learning? Because students will:

  • Remember what they’ve learned: they have created neural pathway connections they’ll be able to revisit later. Learning will be stored in the long-term memory and will have a lasting impact.
  • Enjoy their learning experience. They made an emotional connection with the topic and understand how it relates to the rest of their learning.
  • ‘Get it’ – in practising what they have learned, students will have the
    confidence to apply these new skills in the classroom, whether that is for coursework, school tests or more formal assessments.
Small Brain Colour Change

Retrieval Practice

Retrieval Practice

Retrieval Practice is a critical part of Sticky Learning, and is at the heart of everything we do at SchoolOnline.

Retrieval Practice is a powerful learning tool. It is an active process,  successful through strengthening schemas and committing information to your child’s long-term memory.

What is Retrieval Practice? 

  • As a strategy, students bring information to their mind that they have learnt, in a process of ‘recalling.’
  • The challenge and effort of recalling information learnt strengthens memory and helps to identify where there may be gaps in learning.
    • For example, recalling a Maths technique to answer a question has a more powerful effect than looking up the answer in a textbook. 
    • The act of recalling the technique and using it to answer a question is what dramatically improves learning.
  • The more difficult a child finds the Retrieval Practice, the better it is for their long-term learning.
  • Many educational scholars have highlighted how the key strength of Retrieval Practice is its impact on long term learning, rather than many other strategies like cramming and reading the textbook, which only improve short term memory.

Key techniques for Retrieval Practice include strategies like low stakes quizzes. We incorporate this into our English tutorials, with every video tutorial featuring a specifically tailored quiz to support memory retrieval. 

Retrieval Practice is most effectively done in short bursts over time. This is why SchoolOnline promotes learning little and often, through our bitesize tutorials, fostering successful and smarter learning practices. 

Micro Learning

Micro Learning is another key strategy we employ at SchoolOnline to ensure Sticky Learning for our users.

What is Micro Learning?

Learning little and often! It involves using short bursts of highly engaging and interactive information to learn in the most effective way for long term memory. These can include video tutorials, audio and micro quizzes.

  • To learn, our brains need spaced out repetition in order to create strong connections and neural pathways for retrieving information.
  • Micro Learning helps children to create long term memory, through learning in short bursts over time
    • We do this at SchoolOnline through our bitesize video tutorials, usually around 5 minutes, to give children the key skills and information they need within an age-optimised learning time.
  • By chunking, spacing, and reinforcing content over time, Micro Learning supports recalling and building upon what children have learnt
    • Our ‘My Courses’ section is effective in encouraging “little and often” and focuses Micro Learning, featuring 10 mini units you can build on incrementally.

It’s important to track your progress when micro learning. That is why we have created our ‘My Lists’ functionality, to help children save any Maths questions they wish to revisit or need additional help on.

Micro learning is incredibly useful as you can decide what, when and how much your child is learning. This is exactly why at SchoolOnline we have created a site that you can use anytime and anywhere, supporting flexible, focused learning that works for your children! 

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