chapter  17
17 Pages

Appropriate failure to create effective learning

Optimizing challenge
WithVeronica X. Yan, Mark A. Guadagnoli, Neil Haycocks

This chapter presents three foundational frameworks for understanding how effective, motivated learning occurs: desirable difficulties; Challenge Point Framework; and motivational mindsets. It suggests strategies for optimizing practice. When practice fails to result in positive performance during competition, it can be frustrating, but it is not without explanation. Poor competition performance often results from inappropriate preparation. At its core, poor transfer results from the learner being inappropriately challenged during practice. Findings from both the motor and cognitive skill training domains demonstrate that strategies that challenge us, sometimes to the point that they slow initial acquisition, tend to be those that lead to better long-term learning. It is not only the timing of practice that is important; learners must also be actively involved in generating and retrieving responses too. By adopting productive mindsets, learners will be more likely to seek an optimal challenge point during practice, and teaching learners about the dynamics of difficulty and challenge can help instill the right mindsets.