This font can help students remember

Scientists have developed Sans Forgetica, a downloadable font that is scientifically designed to help you remember your notes.

The best teachers want their students to learn, to understand and to be inspired by the topic! Practically though, they also need them to remember and – through the teenage years – to pass exams.

A multidisciplinary team of designers and behavioral scientists from Australia’s RMIT University have taken a small step towards making memory easier.

Make it harder…to make memory easier!

The key part of the science on this is that Sans Forgetica is more difficult to read than most typefaces. However, it’s deliberately not impossible, but has been designed to reach the sweet spot of ‘desirable difficulty’.

As Jo Peryman, Chair of the RMIT Behavioural Business Lab, highlights in this video ‘desirable difficulty’ means that our brains have to work just a little bit harder to process the information being read, and as a result it is processed more deeply and remembered more easily.

Watch the video to see how the font was developed

Use carefully for selected text

The creators of the font are careful to point out that Sans Forgetica shouldn’t be used on all text.

Their recommendation is to use it sparingly to highlight key words or phrases. Having tested this I’d definitely echo that claim.

Using their free Chrome plugin you can see how this page would look if it was all in Sans Forgetica. There’s ‘desirably difficult’ and just plain difficult! It definitely seems to work best if you apply it only to short headings, but see how it works for you in your classrooms.

Click to zoom in

Remembering and Revising is more than just reading

As we know, remembering content is much more than just the process of reading.

In fact this study from the National Training Laboratories in Maine in the 1960s suggests that passive input methods (e.g. reading) are relatively poor ways to secure learning. (It’s worth noting though that the data for this study has been lost in the intervening decades).

The ancient Chinese proverb implies this has always been known:

I hear, and I forget

I see, and I remember

I do, and I understand.

Download Sans Forgetica font free

Sans Forgetica can be downloaded free from the RMIT website

Or have a look here and here for more ideas on enhancing student learning and memory