In Order to Learn shows how order effects are crucial in human learning, instructional design, machine learning, and both symbolic and connectionist cognitive models. Each chapter explains a different aspect of how the order in which material is presented can strongly influence what is learned by humans and theoretical models of learning in a variety of domains. In addition to data, models are provided that predict and describe order effects and analyze how and when they will occur.
The order that material, for acquiring both facts and skills, is presented or explored by a learner can strongly influence what is learned, how fast performance increases, and sometimes even whether the material is learned at all. This book proposes that these effects are more pervasive and important than we have previously believed. The chapters explore the foundational topics in this area at the intersection of psychology, of machine learning, of AI and cognitive modeling, and of instructional design. We inclued some case studies and numerous questions that should lead to further research projects and provide stimulation and encouragement for professionals working in areas such as education. In some ways, the chapters raise more questions than they answer.