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April 2, 2012 / compassioninpolitics

Neuroscience of teaching and learning: Which is best 1 day 10 hour class or 10 day 1 hour classes?

Here are four factors based on the science of learning:

* Attention span (is somewhere around 15 minutes)
* Cognitive load issues (same reason you should break up your studying into 15 or 20 minute time periods)
* Incubation time over 10 days (particularly if you leverage this with an activity, project, or question). This includes the teachers as well.
* Follow up and feedback, which are key to the teaching and learning
process are also easier over 10 days. People can put the ideas in
practice and come back with questions.

All three tend to favor the 10 day option. Three other key issues:

* The 10 week option is also a distributed versus one time risk.
* 10 week option gives you the ability to pick the time in the day versus using an entire day. I think humans are more alert in the morning.
* Preparation time is potentially more in depth with a 10 day class. Its easier to review for 1 hour versus for an entire 10 hour pack.

The question is only….what happens in terms of the students showing up. Do you have an incentivized and accountable attendance policy (or the money incentive). Or will the content be so useful and engaging or the activities so interesting that they will want to show up every week.

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