The Method of Loci

by megantaylor05

The Method of Loci is an imagery mnemonic device that can be traced back to Roman and Greek rhetoricians and is thought to be wide utilized through the medieval period. While many have now forgotten the memory strategy, researchers believe that it played a significant role in developing Western thought and intellect. The techniques used in Method of Loci were originally devised to help orators remember speech points in the correct order (Thomas, 2013). But as this exercise shows, the Method of Loci could be used to remember almost any set (or sequence) of data/information.

It was an interesting technique, but it was very difficult for me to really get the hang of. This particular activity had some limitations, which made it difficult, for me at least. Because the information (to be remembered) was presented with text it was difficult for me to get it into the room, so to speak. The text is a visual element and so was the room imagery; the two conflicted with one another in my mind. With this activity, the process of mentally placing bits of information in a room would be easier, I think, if it was directed by another person. The person could be reading you the pieces of information (in this case the four components) as you move your way through the room. This would provide two forms of input, verbal and visual.

This makes me wonder if the process works well with new, unfamiliar information. I’ve never heard of the View of Situated Instructional Design and it was difficult to read through it, understand the concepts, and then use the Method of Loci. Perhaps the information needs to be somewhat familiar and “learned” before attempting to associate it with the mental imagery.

All in all, I did not find the Method of Loci helpful for me for remembering the View of Situated Instructional Design, for the reasons I stated above. I do, however, think it can be a useful strategy. It might be a good activity to include an instructional design that dealt with learning steps in a process. I don’t know if I would feel comfortable including into a design I am currently working on, because I have little experience with the process. I do plan to continue to experiment with the method and possibly utilize it for my own studying, as well as suggesting for clients completing a training I have designed.

 

Thomas, N.J.T. (2013). Ancient imagery techniques. In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/mental-imagery/ancient-imagery-mnemonics.html

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