Other than retrieval, encoding is a critical and often overlooked step when studying

When conversing with our long term memory, there are two processes involved: EncodingEncoding
Encoding refers to the process of converting sensory perceptions into meaningful representations.
and Retrieval.

However, popular study techniques (active recall and spaced repetition) only focus on improving the retrieval part. Justin Sung argues in Video - The PROBLEM with Active Recall and Spaced Repetition (Truth Behind Studying Smarter)Video - The PROBLEM with Active Recall and Spaced Repetition (Truth Behind Studying Smarter)

Metadata:

author: Justin Sung
title: The PROBLEM with Active Recall and Spaced Repetition (Truth Behind Studying Smarter)
year: [[2021]]
url: Weblink




that neglecting the encoding part makes these techniques inefficient for most students.

Instead of spending an unsustainable amount of time on fighting the forgetting curve, we need to instead look into making the forgetting itself slower by leveraging stronger encoding. This idea is related to Learning isolated facts becomes harder with age, but connected facts become easier to recall as our mental model growsLearning isolated facts becomes harder with age, but connected facts become easier to recall as our mental model grows

[[Book - How to Take Smart Notes]] argues that while our raw mental ability does decrease with age, the fact that we have that many more connections to topics that we have learned about before, ...

Sung argues that most people that benefit from active recall and spaced repetition already have great encoding skills.

Encoding was also not that prevalent with the forgetting curve, as the original study was only conduced with words that had no context.

Book - Make it stick.. the science of successful learningBook - Make it stick.. the science of successful learning

Metadata:

author: Peter C. Brown
title: Make it stick: the science of successful learning



and other literature differentiate further: Sung's "Encoding" consists of both Encoding (sensory -> meaningful representation) and Consolidation (short-term -> long-term memory association with cues), while "Retrieval" would be Reconsolidation (retrieving a memory from long-term storage, strengthening it, and making it editable)