Answer to "What is a learning curve?"
Topic Editor: Dr. Brent Thoma, University of Saskatchewan
Learning curves are a graphical representation of learners' learning (yaxis) relative to an estimation of their effort (xaxis) which can be used both to guide individual learning and evaluate the progress of learner groups.[1] Measures of effort might include the amount of time spent studying or the number or repetitions of a procedure. Measures of progress could include the proportion of correct responses [2] or the score on a test taken at intervals.[3] Multiple measures of progress can be charted within the same graph.[4] Various regression models with different properties can be used to create the curves. [5]
With individual learners, learning curves are used to demonstrate progress, assess learning rates, and determine when they have achieved mastery.[1] When applied to groups they demonstrate the general pathway towards mastery as well as the variability within a group of learners.[1] Combined, this information can be used prescriptively to target education to learners who are not progressing and to compare the differences in progress between learners exposed to different educational techniques.
References

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Pusic M, Pecaric M, Boutis K. How much practice is enough? Using learning curves to assess the deliberate practice of radiograph interpretation. Academic Medicine. 2011 Jun 1;86(6):7316.

Vleuten CV, Verwijnen GM, Wijnen WH. Fifteen years of experience with progress testing in a problembased learning curriculum. Medical Teacher. 1996 Jan 1;18(2):1039.

Dinçler S, Koller MT, Steurer J, Bachmann LM, Christen D, Buchmann P. Multidimensional analysis of learning curves in laparoscopic sigmoid resection. Diseases of the Colon & Rectum. 2003 Oct 1;46(10):13718.

Käser T, Koedinger K, Gross M. Different parameterssame prediction: An analysis of learning curves. InEducational Data Mining 2014 2014 Jul 4.