Learning Curve
The Learning Curve

This generally follows an S shape. It states that people who do the same task over and over improve their performance. At the beginning of the curve, the rate of progress is slow. This is because the person is still becoming familiar with the new learning. The steep part of the learning curve is where the learner starts to gain enough wisdom and experience to really get going. In addition often when learning, the easiest things come first. Added to this, is the fact that often at the start the learner's interest is much greater because it is something new that they are embarking on. Finally the learning curve levels off. This is called the asymptote – it is the maximum performance for that learner. No further improvement in performance is possible for that person. Note Some times when learning, several plateaus are met. These are periods when little progress is made. Learners can feel despondent and discouraged. This can be a time to take some time off to recharge the batteries – the mind is giving a warning to back off for a short while. It is a time when the learner often thinks they are making no progress. A person going through this should try and think, "I am making slower progress but that is because I am now learning the harder things." Another thing to consider at such a plateau is that the learner may think they are not learning because results are not showing, but maybe learning is taking place that the learner is unaware of! It also may be a time when the learner's interest is dwindling – hence another good reason to take a break. It could also be a time when the person is finding the learning harder and they have realised that they have not done enough preparation. This could be a signal to go back and look over "what they have already learned." Often directly after such a plateau, the level of learning can rise very steeply. Ironically when people talk about a steep learning curve they are usually wrong. The steepest part of the learning curve is where the learning improves most quickly and easily! The implications of the learning curve are twofold:

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