Twelve tips for utilizing principles of learning to support medical education
Background: Research in the cognitive sciences on learning and memory conducted across a range of domains, settings, and age groups has resulted in the identification and formulation of a set of generic learning principles. These learning principles have proven relevant and applicable to a wide range of learning situations in a variety of settings, and can be useful in supporting medical education. They can provide guidance to medical students for efficient and effective study, and can be helpful to faculty to support instructional planning and decisions relating to curriculum. Aim: This article discusses evidence-based principles of learning and their relationship to effective learning, teaching, pedagogy and curriculum development. Method: We reviewed important principles of learning to determine those most relevant to improving medical student learning, guiding faculty toward more effective teaching, and in designing a curriculum. Results: Our analysis has resulted in the articulation of key learning principles and specific strategies that are broadly applicable to medical school learning, teaching, and instructional planning. Conclusions: The twelve tips highlight principles of learning that can be effectively applied in the complex learning environment of medical education.