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Rote Learning


December 15, 2022



Rote Learning - EdApp

Rote learning has been a popular form of training for centuries. In this article, you’ll learn about what rote learning is, the rote learning techniques you need to know, and how it can help you improve your knowledge retention.

What is rote learning, and why is it important?

Rote learning can be characterized as one of the oldest and most effective learning strategies of all. But it’s also one of the most boring and unengaging learning techniques. Fortunately, today’s latest technology has turned this old-fashioned learning method into an engaging and modern learning experience.

Rote learning is the practice of learning through constant repetition. It’s the learning equivalent of forcing new and existing knowledge into a learner’s brain. You may also know it as “learning parrot-fashion”.

Rote memorization is particularly important when knowledge needs to be drawn from various different real-world situations, whether they’re in the workplace or in one’s personal life. When the same information is repeated constantly, it passes into long-term memory.

Different learners are more adept at rote learning than others. This means that those who are less able to retain knowledge can suffer through more rounds of it. Because rote memorization can be more difficult for some, you should remember to use the right technique for it to work on your learners.

Sign up for this rote learning tool today.

Rote learning techniques

If you’re looking to integrate rote learning into your training process, here are some techniques on teaching by rote your learners can use:

  • Read aloud. Read the text with comprehension. Even better, do it in front of a mirror. Read slowly, loudly, set expressive semantic accents expressively: lower their voice for calm moments, choose emotional intonation. Rhyme itself contributes to rote memory, but reading aloud helps to catch the rhythm. This method is especially helpful for auditory learners – those who notice and remember information better by ear.
  • Write on paper. Have them read the text a few times and try to write down what they remember. This way, you will immediately notice where they are having difficulties and what you need to read again. Additionally, writing things done will help you commit things to memory.
  • Sing. Singing helps to memorize songs. So, try putting the text into a tune they like. Or be creative and compose a melody of their own.
  • Use associations. Messy information gets out of the head quickly. The association method helps to fix this. The essence of the method is to create a combination of new information and what is already well-known.
  • Visualize. Our brains remember images better–, what can be seen and touched, and then presented. For that reason, we remember people’s faces better than their names. First, come up with great visuals for each line. In that case, the picture will be personalized and individualized and emerge in their heads effortlessly.
disadvantages of rote learning

Technology’s influence on rote memorization

Blindly parroting information until it’s embedded should be a relic of the past, especially in a group learning environment where everybody learns at a different pace. Mobile-based microlearning and spaced repetition tailor learning and rote memorization-based content to an individual’s own pace, which makes it much more effective.

What is microlearning?

A major limitation of rote memorization and rote teaching is that the content has to be small to be practical for repeated learning. The human short-term memory can only hold up to five pieces of new information before it gets overwritten or pushed out. By sticking to short, bite-sized chunks of highly-targeted, topical information, there’s a dramatically better chance of that knowledge becoming embedded. This process is called, “microlearning.”

Microlearning is the breaking down of information into topical, bite-sized chunks. By interacting with these highly-targeted learning bursts, lessons become much easier to digest, and the likelihood of knowledge retention is increased.

Microlearning courses are easier to develop, update, and distribute compared to traditional eLearning courses, and completion rates are dramatically higher. That’s why the compact nature of microlessons means microlearning is a great enhancer of other techniques such as spaced repetition and just-in-time training.

What is Spaced Repetition?

Spaced repetition (also known as distributed practice) takes rote memorization to the next level. It came from  Hermann Ebbinghaus’ 1885 publication, “Memory: A Contribution to Experimental Psychology,” which describes the Forgetting Curve. This demonstrated how quickly knowledge is forgotten over time without a revision. But, it also demonstrates how revision at increasing intervals helps embed knowledge better in the memory. The most effective intervals that defined the optimal spaced repetition schedule would later be described by P.A. Wozniak who developed an algorithm called SuperMemo-2 (or SM-2).

forgetting curve rote memorization

Adding the use of smartphones with spaced repetition, rote memorization evolves and transforms into a better type of learning. Using phones to deliver and access training content in this way is highly effective because learners can access it on their own time, wherever they are. The technology then enhances rote memorization by focusing only on the content that a learner is struggling with – i.e., it remembers which answers a learner got right, as well as automatically working out the schedule required to perform the revision.

EdApp implements spaced repetition into their learning system with their feature, Brain Boost. Using the principles of the ‘Forgetting Curve’ – where learners will forget more than half of newly learned material within 20 minutes after a lesson ends – Brain Boost makes sure that your learners are only spending time on areas where they need further development. This also makes EdApp a highly effective memorization software.


EdApp is a mobile learning management system designed for today’s digital habits, delivering more engaging and effective micro-learning directly to learners anytime and anywhere.

Sign up for this spaced repetition tool today.

Daniel Brown is a senior technical editor and writer that has worked in the education and technology sectors for two decades. Their background experience includes curriculum development and course book creation.