Faculty Mentor

Jo Qian

Proposal Type

Poster

Start Date

2-11-2019 10:20 AM

End Date

2-11-2019 11:30 AM

Location

Cleveland Ballroom

Abstract

Learning new information can sometimes be a very demanding process, especially in very intense courses such as hard sciences, which can require a lot of reading, studying, and memorization. Simply reading the large walls of text within textbooks can be overwhelming to some students. Thus, applying mnemonic strategies may help in the simplification of otherwise overwhelming information and improving knowledge retention. This study was designed to test the effectiveness of such mnemonics in the memorization and retention of information both long-term and short-term. Twenty-five students separated two different lab sections of a Human Anatomy and Physiology II course were given a mnemonic phrase each week to help them retain information. After six weeks, they were tested on the information, and given a survey. Results were compared both within each group, and between the two groups. While one group of students showed better four- to five-week-long knowledge retention after applying two mnemonic phrases in their study, they did not show any significantly better retention after one week. Comparatively, the second group showed better knowledge retention overall, regardless of whether or not they had the mnemonic devices to assist them on a certain question, and even showed generally better retention of information for which they were not given mnemonic phrases after three weeks. Despite student responses claiming the effectiveness of mnemonic phrases, the data suggests other factors, aside from simply having mnemonic phrases to assist learning, are important to knowledge retention. Even still, mnemonic triggers are designed to assist learning difficult topics. Understanding their benefits, as well as where they fall short, can assist teachers in presenting students with knowledge in a manner that may optimize learning and retaining information.

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Nov 2nd, 10:20 AM Nov 2nd, 11:30 AM

#28 - Testing the Effectiveness of Mnemonic Strategies in Learning and Retaining New Information

Cleveland Ballroom

Learning new information can sometimes be a very demanding process, especially in very intense courses such as hard sciences, which can require a lot of reading, studying, and memorization. Simply reading the large walls of text within textbooks can be overwhelming to some students. Thus, applying mnemonic strategies may help in the simplification of otherwise overwhelming information and improving knowledge retention. This study was designed to test the effectiveness of such mnemonics in the memorization and retention of information both long-term and short-term. Twenty-five students separated two different lab sections of a Human Anatomy and Physiology II course were given a mnemonic phrase each week to help them retain information. After six weeks, they were tested on the information, and given a survey. Results were compared both within each group, and between the two groups. While one group of students showed better four- to five-week-long knowledge retention after applying two mnemonic phrases in their study, they did not show any significantly better retention after one week. Comparatively, the second group showed better knowledge retention overall, regardless of whether or not they had the mnemonic devices to assist them on a certain question, and even showed generally better retention of information for which they were not given mnemonic phrases after three weeks. Despite student responses claiming the effectiveness of mnemonic phrases, the data suggests other factors, aside from simply having mnemonic phrases to assist learning, are important to knowledge retention. Even still, mnemonic triggers are designed to assist learning difficult topics. Understanding their benefits, as well as where they fall short, can assist teachers in presenting students with knowledge in a manner that may optimize learning and retaining information.