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DeLTA Center Roundtable - Philip Kellman

Friday, February 22, 2019 - 9:00am
Spence Labs

Philip Kellman, Distinguished Professor and Chair, Cognitive Area Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles

Perceptual Learning, Adaptive Learning, and Learning Technology

Recent advances in the learning sciences offer remarkable potential to improve almost any kind of education or training.
In this talk, I will describe recent research in two areas: perceptual learning and adaptive learning. Perceptual learning
(PL) enlarges our conceptions of what learning is. Although educational settings most often emphasize facts and
procedures, research indicates that a crucial component of learning in any domain is PL: improvements in the way
information is picked up. These improvements involve both discovery effects – coming to select the features and
patterns that are important -- and fluency effects – becoming able to extract information quickly and with low cognitive
load. I will also describe novel approaches to adaptive learning that use both learner accuracy and response times to
guide the spacing and sequencing of learning events. Recent work using these concepts has helped to make sense of
spacing effects in learning and has shown that optimal spacing requires adaptive methods. Combining perceptual and
adaptive learning in the form of Perceptual Adaptive Learning Modules (PALMs) leads to dramatic improvements in a
variety of learning domains, including high-level cognitive ones, such as mathematics and science. I will consider
applications and results of this new learning technology in STEM learning and medical learning, including direct
evidence that even relatively brief exposure to PALMs changes encoding in complex domains. Separately and in
combination, perceptual and adaptive learning technologies offer useful techniques for improving learning, expanded
notions of what learning is, and suggest new insights and questions about processes of learning.