It seems, says Harlow, that “the knowledge you’ve retained helps you interpret the next slide.”Another way of putting this has to do with “working memory,” which is somewhat like short-term memory.
Minecraft, by contrast—one of the most popular video games ever made—was rated enjoyable by only 65%.
Harlow speculates that the kids were more engaged in Cerego because “the end value was clear to them.
Long-term memory, on the other hand, is virtually unlimited.
The more items you can simply withdraw from long-term memory—because you’ve memorized them—the fewer items take up precious space in working memory, leaving more space there for absorbing and analyzing new information.
But here’s what may surprise those who dismiss memorization: those students also had higher scores on questions calling for analysis.
In fact, their advantage on those questions was even higher than on the factual recall ones: points. The students who used Cerego more were more likely to say they could follow the lectures, and their scores on class quizzes were consistently higher.
And learners who need the intervention the most may lack the motivation to use it.
For example, in the University of Hawaii study, Cerego benefited students equally regardless of their previous GPAs, and it narrowed the gap between students with high and low GPAs overall—but those with lower GPAs were somewhat less likely to use Cerego diligently.
Rather, they can draw on their vast knowledge of typical chess positions—which they’ve acquired through memorization.
Similarly, a study published in 1988 demonstrated that supposedly “poor” readers outperform “good” readers in comprehending a passage when the “poor” readers have greater knowledge of the topic.