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Note Taking in Class

Systems and methods for better note taking that lead to faster learning.

The Forgetting Curve

Hermann Ebbinghaus (1850-1909) 

Ebbinghaus' research discoveries include the Learning Curve and the Forgetting Curve. Most people are familiar with the Learning Curve, but not with the Forgetting Curve. (Perhaps they forgot about it.)

His memory experiments demonstrated that

  • meaningless information is more difficult to memorize than meaningful or information that is relevant to the learner;
  • increasing the amount of material to be learned increases the amount of time it takes to learn it (learning curve);
  • relearning is easier than initial learning;
  • it takes longer to forget material after each subsequent re-learning;
  • learning is more effective when it is spaced out over time rather than crammed into a single marathon study session (spacing effect); and
  • forgetting happens most rapidly right after learning and slows down over time (forgetting curve).