Attention span and effective learning
The average human attention span is on the decline. In 2000, the average attention span was 12 seconds; in 2015, that number dropped to 8.25 seconds. This is a troubling statistic when you consider that the average attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds.
It’s no surprise that attention spans have been declining over the past decade given the continuing popularity of digital distractions like social media, video games, and text messaging. These distractions, coupled with the overwhelming abundance of consumable content online, have made it harder than ever to focus on any task at hand.
Today, a myriad of distractions are at our fingertips; and college students—the most religious consumers of internet and social media content—are particularly susceptible to these distractions.
In the study cited above, attention span is defined as the amount of concentrated time spent on a task without becoming distracted. Most educators and psychologists agree that the ability to focus attention on a task is crucial for the achievement of learning goals.
Psychologists generally break down the learning and retention of information into three main processes:
- Encoding: considering meaningful and relevant information that catches an individual’s attention
- Storage: retaining information if it is perceived by an individual as interesting
- Recall: the subsequent re-accessing of the information from the past to be applied to a present situation
In combination, these processes promote the effective comprehension and retention of information (i.e. learning). However, in order for these processes to occur, the information or subject matter must first be considered relevant by, and hold the attention of, the learner.
Learning experiences that maximize attention and retention
Game Plan offers a variety of eLearning and assessment resources designed to deliver relevant information to a student-athlete based on their unique interests. One such resource is our student-athlete interest inventory assessment, a powerful tool to help student athletes as they seek to understand their unique academic and career interests. This assessment is designed to help prospective and current collegiate student-athletes learn about their interests and personality strengths as it relates to potential college majors and careers. This instrument helps guide students through a self-awareness process that will provide more clarity on critical academic and career decisions.
As we have seen, the degree to which an individual perceives a topic as interesting often determines whether or not they will comprehend and retain that information. In keeping with this principle, Game Plan offers eLearning modules that are designed to provide student-athletes with relevant, digestible information pertinent to their interests. More importantly, each module is segmented into easily consumable courses that maximize user attention and retention.
To learn more about the Game Plan platform along with our our eLearning and assessment resources, download the Game Plan and Assessment overviews below!