Filmmakers know that the feeling the audience leaves with has a huge impact on the movie’s success. It’s what the audience remembers, and determines how (and whether) they talk about the movie to others. When filmmakers do audience testing, they’re trying to get the ending right, and that’s why usually the best music of the movie is saved for the ending credits.
It’s the psychological princple known as primacy-recency, and it matters to advertisers, writers, entertainers, and teachers.
When it comes to retention and recall, the middle sucks.
People tend to remember beginning and endings better than middles.
So the solution is simple: have more beginnings and endings in your message.
A 90-minute lecture with no breaks means that most of the material is presented somewhere in the vast cognitive wasteland of the middle.
A series of 15-minute mini-lectures punctuated by exercises for deeper processing of the new content, means a lot more beginnings and endings, so more opportunities for better learning, especially better recall and retention.
The more granular the message “chu
…excerpt from: headrush.typepad.com…