The Science of Learning

What if everything you knew about
teaching and learning was wrong?

Cramming for an exam?
Studying the same topic for hours at a time?
Reading and re-reading a topic trying to commit it to memory?

Today, research coming out of learning labs of leading universities around the world tells us there is a better way. Much of it is counter-intuitive, yet the techniques are simple to implement, and best of all, effective.

The “Science of Learning” is an interdisciplinary field that works to further scientific understanding of learning, then apply those breakthroughs to the way we learn in the real world, study in the classroom, train on the job, and compete on the playing field.

With an advisory and editorial board of the world’s foremost experts in cognitive psychology, neuroscience, social sciences, and sports psychology, we want to demystify the science of learning, bring the studies out of research labs, and provide access to the resources that can help all of us teach more effectively, study smarter, and learn better. Our team includes leading researchers in learning science from UCLA, a neuropsychologist who worked with the New York Yankees, and the director of the Human Memory and Cognition Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Researchers in learning labs show us how we really learn

The principles below summarize just a few of the new fundamentals of learning science. Your takeaway? This is how learning really works:

Desirable Difficulties

Conditions of learning that create challenges for learners — and even seem to slow down the rate of learning — can actually enhance long-term retention of knowledge and skills. That’s the key takeaway from the research conducted by Drs. Robert and Elizabeth Bjork (UCLA) on “desirable difficulties.”

Interleaving Topics and Skills Promotes Lasting Learning

Instead of studying or practicing the same thing over and over again, studies have shown learning improves when the to-be-learned skills or topics are mixed-up.

Retrieval is a Powerful Learning Tool

Instead of reading to learn, decades of research show us that the act of retrieving information from memory contributes to lasting learning. This means that instead of just relying on tests to measure performance, we can use tests as an aid to improve learning.


The Spacing Effect

Learning scientists have examined the effect of how varying study schedules improve recall, retention, and memory. Instead of cramming for a test for hours at a time, there is a smarter way to study. It is called the spacing effect, and it means that inserting time intervals between study sessions can make a huge difference in how much learning takes place.

Discover the difference science-based learning makes




For learners

Your ability to learn faster, study smarter, and train more effectively is your competitive advantage. It will make a difference in the way you study, the college you get into, the work you pursue, and how quickly you advance to the next level in your career.



For employers

A trained workforce is a smarter, more capable workforce. The Lasting provides informations on available tools and cost-effective training that makes a difference on the job. High-performing teams are more productive, more efficient, out perform the competition, and experience lower turnover.



For educators

As a community for science-based learning, we provide a resource for educators like you to deliver their educational content to an audience in the millions. Our marketplace provides a place to extend your reach by providing your own course materials, assessment tools, teaching techniques, and educational products.



For coaches and athletes

Looking for a competitive edge? Turns out the most important muscle to exercise is the brain. Check out the Train Smart section of our web site, designed for coaches and athletes who want to apply the principles of science-based learning to improve performance.


Lasting Learning: everything you need to teach, study, and train smarter



When it comes to science-based learning, Lasting Learning provides the best thinking, research, and educational resources available. Scholarly articles explore recent breakthroughs coming out of educational learning labs. Videos feature expert learning researchers who explain educational concepts in accessible, easy-to-understand formats, so teachers, parents, and students can leverage strategies to improve teaching and learning. Online tutorials deliver anytime, anywhere study techniques to turbocharge learning. And a rich set of resources provide links to courseware, test prep software, books, online videos, and much more.

Organized to inform, inspire, and take action

Get started with the resources in Learn Smart. Stay informed with the most recent resources, essays, and videos that demystify the science of learning.

Inspirational videos from leaders in the field of sports training, neuroscience, and educational psychology explain breakthroughs in learning science and inspire us to achieve our maximum potential.

Specific techniques are designed to help you take action, and apply the best practices from the science of learning to the real world of teaching, studying and training. You’ll find dozens of practical ways the science of learning can make a positive impact in the way you approach challenges, develop new skills, and learn to thrive.

The Editors of Lasting Learning.