Can interactive working memory training improve learning?
Background. Working memory is linked to learning outcomes and there is emerging evidence that training working memory can yield gains in working memory and fluid intelligence. Aims. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether interactive working memory training would transfer to acquired cognitive skills, such as vocabulary and academic attainment. Sample. To determine the efficacy of memory training in improving cognitive skills, we randomly allocated high school-aged students with learning difficulties into one of two groups. The Training group participated in an interactive working memory training program, while the Control group received targeted educational support for an equivalent amount of time. All participants were tested on measures of vocabulary, academic attainment (spelling and arithmetic), and working memory before and after training. Results. The findings indicate that the Training group performed significant better in working memory, vocabulary, and math post-training, while the Control group did not show any substantial improvement. Conclusions. This pilot study suggests that interactive working memory training may be highly relevant to improving educational outcomes in those who are struggling.
Journal of Interactive Learning Research
Alloway, T. (2012) Can interactive working memory training improve learning? Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 23(3), 197-207.