“Applying the Science of Learning to Unconstrained Virtual Environments” presented by Karl Szpunar
Jul 14, 2023
11:30AM to 12:30PM
Date(s) - 14/07/2023
11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Over the last 15 years, psychologists have increasingly leveraged the principles of learning and memory to improve the quality of teaching and learning in educational settings. I will focus on the application of these principles to one salient obstacle to learning—the (limited) capacity to devote sustained effort and attention over extended periods of time. I will begin by demonstrating how the simple act of interpolating extended sequences of study with memory tests can sustain high levels of learning over time. Next, I will show how the practice of interpolating study with tests can help to improve attention and learning of video-recorded lecture materials. Finally, I will conclude by describing new research from our laboratory that examines whether these benefits extend to unconstrained virtual environments.
At Toronto Metropolitan University, Dr. Szpunar directs the Memory Lab. The Memory Lab conducts research that elucidates the cognitive and neural mechanism supporting functional uses of memory in daily life. Topics of interest include the role of memory in learning and future thinking. Specifically, the Memory Lab is currently carrying out research that aims to (i) help learners overcome the limits of attention and memory in traditional educational settings, (ii) understand the role of memory in giving rise to spontaneous mental simulations of future events and their impact on behaviour and well-being, and (iii) understand how memory and future thinking in young and older adults can impact the future of society. Insights from these lines of research are being used to develop novel interventions for improving educational outcomes and public health. These various research activities are made possible by funding support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the National Science Foundation.