Tuesday, March 2, 2010

article from Scientific American Mind that is highly relevant to our project

I just read an interesting article that discusses improved learning outcomes when students are asked to try to do something without any practice or experience first, then undergo training, then try to do it again.  Apparently, the act of trying and failing first primes the brain to acquire the new skill or knowledge more rapidly and with greater retention.  This bears directly on the way we are structuring out tests of WiiCane: we start by asking the student to try to walk straight without any feedback, then we turn on the feedback and have them do repetitive traverses with audio or vibratory coaching, then finally we turn off feedback and see if their performance improves as compared to their initial state.  Given the findings of the research discussed in the article, it might be good for us to rely on this technique in each of the lessons we are constructing for the WiiCane curriculum. 

If you want to read the article, click here

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