Desirable Difficulties

It refers to conditions of learning that create challenges for learners — and even seem to slow down the rate of learning — while actually enhancing long-term retention of knowledge and skills.

Introduced by Robert Bjork in 1994.

“Above all, the most basic message is that teachers and students must avoid interpreting current performance as learning. Good performance on a test during the learning process can indicate mastery, but learners and teachers need to be aware that such performance will often index, instead, fast but fleeting progress.”

— Robert Bjork, 2014

Last modified: May 19, 2021