Week 4 Discussion 1
Law Diminishing Returns
While practice may never make perfect, it does improve performance indefinitely, although at diminishing levels. Timed measurements of workers using a machine to roll cigars found that, after four years of practice that involved thousands of trials, proficiency continued to improve (Crossman, 1959). Similarly, a series of twelve practice sessions on manipulating an angled laparoscope reported dramatic improvements in the time to complete the task from the first to the last practice session (Keehner, Lippa, Montello, Tendick, & Hegary, 2006). Figure 10.7 shows the average improvement over practice sessions, along with the distribution of results at each trial among individual participants. First, you can see that the greatest performance improvements occurred on the first five trials. Second, you can see that the performance differences among individual participants were large on the first few practice sessions but diminished as practice continued. Over time, effective practice exercises even out initial variations among individuals, resulting in consistent performance. Diminishing skill improvements over time is referred to as the Power Law of Practice, which has been shown to apply not only to motor skills like the laparoscopic task but also to intellectual skills such as writing (Rosenbaum, Carlson, & Gilmore, 2001).
To prepare for this Discussion:
• Chapter 9 and 10 – “See attachment”
Respond to two of your colleagues’ posts in one or more of the following ways:
• Ask a clarifying question about your colleague’s description of their response
• Suggest one or more additional feedback your colleague could use regarding subject.
• Relate an example from your own experience of a positive, effective, and/or to what your colleague shared.
• 3 – 4 paragraphs
• No plagiarism
• APA citing
1st Colleague – Ashley Lampert
My position on this topic is to keep tests and scores. Examinations are not only used for summative or formative processes, but also for increasing long-term memory, or enhancing learning (Yang, Razo, & Persky, 2019). When lecture is combined with visual content, the information enters learners’ working memory (Clark, 2008). Due to the limited capacity of the working memory, the information is often quickly forgotten. For learners to remember information, the information must be encoded, or stored in the long-term memory. To help store information into the long-term memory, the information must be reorganized through a process called consolidation. Consolidation involves replaying an experience, assigning it meaning, and making connections (Yang, Razo, & Persky, 2019). Once encoding and consolidation takes place, members can then retrieve information from memory at later times. The more a member retrieves the information or links cues to the content, the more likely they will remember the information. This process encourages learning because members are acquiring knowledge and then utilizing memory or past experiences, to solve future problems.
Testing can help members with the consolidation and retrieval processes of information. It is recommended instructors use the terms “retrieval practice” or “practice quiz,” rather than “testing” because of the negative connotations associated with it (Yang, Razo, & Persky, 2019). Testing can help with the transfer and storing of information from working memory to long-term memory by requiring members to retrieve information multiple times. For example, an instructor could implement a design that includes multiple “practice tests” after a study session, or “study-test-test-test” (Yang, Razo, & Persky, 2019). This is also known as the “spacing effect” (Clark, 2008). Additionally, spacing study-periods over time, rather than mass-learning, can interweave different topics throughout the instruction—improving learning. Often, members simply and effortlessly reread textbooks or notes, and believe they have learned the material. Testing, or the retrieval process, requires more effort and can be difficult; however, it allows members to understand their weaknesses and work specifically on those sections.
According to a study in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, physicians who repeatedly tested their knowledge, showed greater retention of the information six months after the first session, compared to simple restudying (Yang, Razo, & Persky, 2019). Additionally, pharmacists who performed spaced practice while learning drug brand/generic names, showed better retention of the content six weeks after the course.
Clark, R. C. (2008). Building expertise: Cognitive methods for training and performance improvement. Blackboard (3rd ed.). Pfeiffer. Retrieved February 11, 2022, from https://granthamsaas.blackboard.com/ultra/courses/_22554_1/cl/outline?legacyUrl=~2Fwebapps~2Fblackboard~2Fcontent~2FlistContent.jsp%3Fcourse_id%3D_22554_1%26content_id%3D_2149734_1%26mode%3Dreset.
Yang, B. W., Razo, J., & Persky, A. M. (2019). Using Testing as a Learning Tool. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 83(9), 1862–1872. https://doi.org/10.5688/ajpe7324
2nd Colleague – Dorian Wilson
Week 4 Discussions
The Law of Diminishing Returns says that continuous practice creates continuous improvement, even though improvements may be in smaller and smaller increments. If this is true, should anyone receive a grade of 100% on test, paper or demonstration of skill? Obviously, with Diminishing Returns, none of us every gets it perfect. Are such scores counterproductive in that they create a sense of “being done” or “right” that stops our learners for continuing to practice? Should we eliminate tests and scores because they are artificial and deter continuous development? Take a position and write a two to three paragraph position statement. Support your opinions by referencing sources such as the textbook or internet research. Be sure to cite your sources using APA format.
No I believe that everyone should receive the grade that they earn for doing the work, this is how you evaluate the amount of improvement. No one is perfect but we can be as close to it as we can. Yes the scores are counterproductive they create a sense of completing and being correct, and once that has been established the practicing to be perfect stops for that particular subject. No I don’t think that tests and scores should be eliminated because they are artificial and deter continuous development I do think that it should be utilized as a tool to determine where the individual is in the subject to determine if there is more information or training that need to be done. “Shapes, sizes and biomass investment per unit area (LMA) of vine leaves are characterized by high diversity that results in variation in leaf arrangement, light harvesting efficiency and photosynthetic activity. There exists a scaling relationship between leaf dry mass and surface area for many broad-leaved plants, and most estimates of the scaling exponent are greater than unity, implying that they follow the “law of diminishing returns”, i.e. that larger leaves require progressively greater investments of dry mass and accordingly have a greater LMA.” (Shi, P., Li, Y., Hui, C., Ratkowsky, D. A., Yu, X., & Niinemets, Ü. (2020). Pg.21.
References: Shi, P., Li, Y., Hui, C., Ratkowsky, D. A., Yu, X., & Niinemets, Ü. (2020). Does the law of diminishing returns in leaf scaling apply to vines? – Evidence from 12 species of climbing plants. Global Ecology and Conservation, 21. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2019.e00830