As it turns out, knowing what you know (or ‘metacognition’) actually explains a lot about how well you learn. The more conscious you are of your knowledge and thought processes, the more you can focus your energy on shoring up knowledge where it’s most needed. However, obvious though that may seem, it’s not so easy in practice — in general, people are pretty bad at it.
But that’s not the kind of indictment it might sound like at first — when you think about it, judging your own knowledge is very challenging.
Our science team recently introduced a major upgrade in the quality and reliability of the Smart Answers tool by integrating a powerful deep learning model, called BERT. Below, the team gives us an overview of what BERT is, and how it helps.
Archana Ramalingam, Data Scientist:
When you write a multiple choice quiz item, one of the most time-consuming tasks is to come up with good distractors — alternative, wrong choices that are plausible enough to make a learner really think about the question and actually learn the underlying principle. The Smart Answers function in Cerego tries to save you time by doing this automatically. So if you write a question and answer, this feature will automatically suggest potential relevant distractors (wrong answer choices) that you can add with a single click. …
Everything had to be online. No one knew how best to approach it, so, as with most mass movements online, the earliest attempts were to simply take the in-person experience and put it on a screen. (The same thing a lot of print magazines did when they first decided to have websites.) While at first, people are understanding of the need to adapt quickly, that patience wears thin when the experience continues to be suboptimal over the long haul. This has serious implications for the future of education, as people like Scott Galloway have pointed out.
For example, Zoom is a great video service, but how many hour-long lectures are students really sitting through, and even if they are, is that an effective way to learn? The only aspect of the online experience that this approach successfully leverages is its ability to distribute content. Again, it is just a way to take what was an in-person experience and put it online — what if, instead, we flipped that on its head? What if we thought, how can we make an online experience that is optimal for real-world learning? …
There’s no shortage of advice going around about moving to remote work these days. Lots of it is quite good, too! But Cerego stumbled onto something last week that seems to work pretty well, and I haven’t seen it described anywhere, so I wanted to share our approach to the “Remote Water Cooler.”
The Cerego family (full time, contractors) is a bit under 50 people. Ordinarily, about 30% of the team is remote across 6 states; the rest of us work from our office in San Francisco. …
So you’ve moved your course content online—that’s a good start. Now, it’s about making that training as effective and engaging as possible.
The traditional Learning Management System (LMS) allows you to make content available, and distribute it to your learners. But it falls short when it comes to the learning and retention component—that part is left entirely up to the individual.
As has been well established by the scientific community going back to the 19th century, we humans forget what we learn at a predictable rate (Hermann Ebbinghaus’s forgetting curve). …
When we hear the word ‘forget,’ typically there are negative associations. We often think of ourselves as striving not to forget things. But, as Robert Bjork discusses in the below video, forgetting is actually an important component of learning and memory.
Case in point: If we simply recorded and remembered everything, our memory would become cluttered with useless material. Or, in Bjork’s words, “Forgetting, rather than undoing learning, enables learning and focuses remembering.”
Bjork goes on to discuss how we, as humans, tend to fundamentally misunderstand this system of forgetting and remembering as it relates to learning.
“We seem to carry around a kind of flawed model of how this system works—how we learn and remember. Our judgments about whether we’ve learned and will remember are unreliable. We are subject to illusions of comprehension—students will be familiar with that, where they think they are very well prepared, before some exam. The decisions we make about managing our own learning are far from optimal.” …
By Bryan Kitch
There are a lot of different theories on how to learn and retain information on Medium, and often those ideas are articulated in ways specific to individual experiences with studying, or academic pursuits.
But there are 3 things that are backed by more than 100 years of research that anyone can do to improve their ability to learn and recall information:
As the education, corporate, and government spheres continue to embrace artificial intelligence, we are faced with an important question: How does this new landscape affect learning, and what does it mean for our knowledge at the individual and societal levels?
In this talk, Cerego Cofounder and Vice Chairman Andrew Smith Lewis discusses all that and more.
When information is all around us, how do we leverage it to develop our ideas and creativity? Contrary to what has been a popular sentiment — that ‘anything worth knowing is worth looking up,’ to paraphrase Seth Godin — Lewis details what it means to really know something, and the flexibility and agility that knowledge gives you to solve problems and build innovative solutions. …
At Cerego, we’re committed to helping people learn faster, and retain that information for longer, so that it becomes useful, available knowledge. But we’re not the only ones who are working to solve the memory problem.
Two of the key factors in learning and retaining anything are distributed learning (sometimes called ‘spaced repetition’), and retrieval practice (also known as ‘the testing effect’).
These approaches help build and strengthen memory in much the same way as an athlete trains and strengthens her muscles: consistent training helps to maintain her fitness, while testing her limits at the right time helps build strength.
Below is a list of some of our favorite resources on learning and memory. …
By Iain Harlow, VP of Science @ Cerego
Famously, Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg supposedly wear the same color shirt most days, to cut down on decision fatigue. The idea — known as ego-depletion — is that that your willpower is a finite resource, and that ‘spending it’ on deciding what clothes to wear leaves you less able to address demanding tasks or decisions later in the day.
If this is true, it’s important — especially when it comes to intellectually demanding tasks like learning. But is it actually the case?
To answer this, we teamed up with researchers Dan Randles and Michael Inzlicht at the University of Toronto to examine how self-control varies across the day. Does your willpower really deplete, and should we make important decisions — or complete our Cerego learning — early in the day before it does? …