Picture this: You’re designing a learning experience but the subject matter is dull, tedious, or otherwise considered boring by learners. What do you do?
A common strategy is to try and liven things up with a funny story or interesting fact. These tangential attempts to capture students’ interest and help them pay attention are what researchers call “seductive details”—and they can often get in the way of learning. But learning expert Andrew Watson explores a recent study that finds that combining seductive details with the right-sized retrieval practice is the key to improving memory retention in learners.
Although seductive details can help liven up dry subject matter, they can also distract from what you really want learners to know—so what’s the right combination to unlock the retention you’re after?✦