Yesterday, two lengthy articles were published reporting on studies saying that people learn better if the information is presented visually in a less easy-to-see form. Font Size May Not Aid Learning, But Its Style Can, Researchers Find was in The New York Times and Clarity Not Always the Best For Learning was in Miller-McCune (the second one takes the point a little further and suggests hard-to-follow lessons work better, too). The ideas is that the struggle enhances the learning process.
On a certain level, this makes sense to me — the harder you work at something could make a greater impact. Of course, you have to want to learn what is being taught. I don’t know about you, but I want to do everything possible to make my lessons more engaging and easier to understand — many of my students have a enough struggles going on in their lives and plenty of reluctance to wanting to learn in school.
I’ve previously posted about an article in Scientific American which reported on a study that showed the easier materials are to understand, the more motivated students are to learn it.
I think I’ll go with the recommendations in that article.
What do you think?