One important aspect of the educational system is having student commit to memory large amounts of information. This being the case, when studying human experimental psychology, learning and memory have always been central topics for exploration. Human memory research has focused on retention over the past 30 years. The role that metacognitive processes have in retention are essential in understanding the processes of learning and memory. This includes the basis for predictions and subsequent retention and the control processes that determine what material requires further study. Students need to make decisions about which information they need to spend time dedicating further study on when regulating their study activity (Thomas & McDaniel, 2007).
Another difference in learning variables that have the capacity to affect the encoding process of one’s memory is the medium through which the material is gathered as well as the learner’s environment when acquiring the information. When material was received through a portable electronic system, such as a digital media player, there were differences in whether the learner was stationary or engaged in movement during the time that the information was being processed by the learner. Students were further categorized by their working memory capacity, or whether or not it was easy for them to learn and retain information consistently under traditional circumstances.
Students who traditionally found it difficult to retain information did better if they were not distracted by walking around or had outside influences taking away from their concentration. In contrast, students who had little difficulty retaining information were not distracted by outside influences or movement. Average students performed adequately if they were walking around or seated in the controlled atmosphere. The distractions in the environment did little to change their ability to retain information (Doolittle & Mariano, 2008).
Doolittle, P., & Mariano, G. J., (2008). Working memory capacity and mobile multimedia
learning environments: Individual differences in learning while mobile. Journal of
Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 17(4), 511-530. Retrieved from
Thomas, A. K., & McDaniel, M. A. (2007). Metacomprehension for educationally relevant
materials: Dramatic effects of encoding-retrieval interactions. Psychonomic Bulletin &
Review (Pre-2011), 14(2), 212-8. Retrieved from