The Learning Optimized Moonshot

"To exponentially increase the test passage rate, through an adaptive algorithm, utilizing retrieval-based learning, feedback, and spacing effect techniques for individual state examinations and industry technological certifications around the world."

Qstream Markets

SAT / ACT / GRE                              General Bar Exam (UBE)

Pharmacy (NAPLEX/MPJE)            Nursing (NCLEX-RN)

Veterinarian (NVLE)                       Medical Boards (USMLE-1)


The Learning Optimized Qstream Story:

In 1982, an Australian doctor named Barry Marshall discovered that ulcers and stomach cancer are caused by chronic bacterial infections. Prior to his discovery, the prevailing consensus in the American medical community and throughout the world was that stress caused ulcers that could subsequently then lead to stomach cancer. He was chastised, laughed at, dismissed by the gastroenterological society of Australia, and for the next twelve years by his peers and colleagues, even though his experiments had proven he had discovered a cure. Does this sound familiar? The research and experiments conducted lead to a sound conclusion, but the way we are taught, becomes the law of the land. In psychology, this is called being cognitively blind. Finally, in 1994, his breakthrough discovery was accepted by the medical community at large. Ulcers, which were previously treated by cutting out a part of a person’s stomach, were then treated by a simple antibiotic that would get rid of the bacterial infection altogether.  He would go on to later win the 2005 Nobel Prize for his findings. In his acceptance speech, he quoted the great historian Daniel Boorstin: “The greatest obstacle to knowledge is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.” We don’t know what we don’t know. He said he was more committed to getting it right and saving lives, than being right about a belief that wasn’t the truth and had been scientifically debunked.  

According to ACT Inc., the nonprofit organization by the same name that administers the aptitude test, overall composite mean scores from 1996-2016 were flat and showed no improvement. National SAT mean scores from 1996 - 2016 have decreased by 3%.  Not surprisingly, Florida SAT scores overall are down 2% for this same time period, according to data released by the College Board who oversees student testing.  I believe you are following me here, but let’s dive a little deeper. Scores for high school seniors, in the latest public report of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, reading tests haven’t improved in over 30 years. Now, if you take into consideration  all of the resources, included but not limited to “the internet of things”, that are readily available to students to support their goal of increasing their overall English test scores, which are directly correlated to various financial scholarships and college/university admissions, you might easily assume that those scores would have increased significantly over this time period.  They did not.  Further, of all the technological advances in the past quarter-century, surely learning techniques that increase knowledge would fit inside someone’s bucket of interest and a cure would be accessible to all by now. Learning Optimized, through our Qstream partnership that utilizes the retrieval-based learning technique, has a cure.   

Qstream – Optimizing the 3Rs of Individual Learning: Retrieve. Retain. Reinforce. 

Scott Cook, the founder of Intuit, stated,“the most important person to be learning and growing in a company is the CEO. I have heard it said many times, the teacher teaches what he most needs to learn.”  

"The most successful learning organizations have leaders who are passionately curious about learning” Ed Hess – Cognitive psychologist, University of Virginia   

I never imagined my curiosity for learning in midlife, at the age of 48, would take off like the excitement I had thirty-five years ago trying to solve the Rubik’s Cube at age thirteen. I finally solved it in 2016. My learning has taken off again!  I have one pressing problem, though. The mortality tables argue I don’t statistically have thirty-four more years to solve another big problem.  It is time to speed it up and find a hack quickly. The optimized way to achieve this, according to Uri Levine, founder of Waze, is to “fall in love with the problem you are trying to solve, not the solution.” His problem was mitigating the traffic digestion in Israel. He did it in less than five years. My learning problem, which affects future generations of young minds in the entire world, is much bigger than ulcers and traffic digestion problems.    

I now find myself running a company where I get to fall in love with a problem and humbly teach and share with others that which I most need to learn; that there are proven scientific learning techniques which exponentially optimize how humans retrieve, retain, and reinforce knowledge.  

In my curiosity for learning, I founded Learning Optimized. We are a boutique learning organization committed to elevating performance for companies and individuals worldwide. We have an enormous playbook where we are constantly stress testing ideas and hypotheses to support our mission. 

Our individual Qsteam division specializes in finding a cure or antidote for the stagnant learning results found in numerous state tests, examinations, or industry certifications. Unlike Dr. Marshall and his discovery, which was new and groundbreaking at the time, there are proven scientific methods that work and have been used for over a century.  

Learning Optimized is the only Qstream partner in the United States authorized to sell and distribute Qstreams to individuals.  Our cure is the spacing and testing effect powered by an adaptive algorithm and administered by way of email, smartphone applications, tablets, or computers.  

Qstream, with over twenty clinical peer-reviewed trials, was founded by Dr. B. Price Kerfoot. Dr. Kerfoot is a Harvard medical professor and has made it his life’s mission to solve this learning problem by raising awareness that there is a cure for stagnant learning and a way to demonetize its cost.    

The “Spacing Effect”   

The spacing effect indicates that you can significantly increase knowledge retrieval and retention if you present information and reinforce it at over spaced intervals of time. The Bolus Education Method (binge and purge) of learning, that is mostly used in our education system by students today, is outdated, suboptimal, and simply, as the empirical evidence argues, does not lead to significant increases in retrieval, retention, and reinforcement of knowledge.    

The “Testing Effect”/”Retrieval-Based Learning”   

Testing is not just a dipstick that measures knowledge. Testing, or retrieval-based learning, is an active learning process that dramatically improves knowledge retention when combined with immediate answer feedback. Studies comparing the testing effect/retrieval-based learning, to passive learning without testing (reading, watching a video) and conceptual mapping (drawing diagrams to relate concepts) show that testing is the most effective approach. There is nothing like getting feedback, in real-time, on how well you are doing in a subject matter. You then can make the necessary learning adjustments in your weaker areas. Studies have proven, according to the research conducted by Purdue University’s Jeffrey Karpicke, time and time again that students, who repeatedly practice retrieving knowledge in an interval spacing testing format, perform better on the actual tests. Restudying, just like ulcers are caused by stress, was long thought of as the best mechanism for optimizing learning, just isn’t the most effective method today. Retrieval-based learning, in a testing format, is the centerpiece of acquiring knowledge. This is undisputed with thousands of papers submitted and peer-reviewed, and authenticated with over two dozen clinical trials that are available in publications around the world. Most leading cognitive psychologists strongly argue that retrieval-based learning, as compared to all other learning techniques, yields better results on tests and examinations.    

“The brain is a muscle and not a filing cabinet. It gets stronger the more we use it effectively to grow. In learning, it grows by retrieving, retaining, and reinforcing knowledge through retrieval-based and spaced practice techniques.  At some point, but only through deliberate practice and mastery, it can then be thought of like a filing cabinet.“ Dr. Robert Bjork, UCLA

Learning Optimized is excited to wave the banner that, through digital interaction with as little as two to three questions every other day, one can optimize the 3Rs of individual learning exponentially by up to 170%.(Kerfoot, BP, Acad Med. 2011 Mar; 86(3): 300-6)   

Please take a look at any one of our numerous preparation state tests, examinations, or industry certifications and choose the one that best fits your area of study.  Every week or bi-weekly, our team will update you on your learning progress. What are you waiting for? The question isn’t if it works, but rather how will you utilize this tool to optimize your learning? Don’t wait till another Nobel Prize is given out that disproves old beliefs on learning to reap the benefits of evidenced based science today.  

Remember, “The greatest obstacle to knowledge is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.”   

Testimonials on Retrieval-Based Learning

“Most students report rereading and highlighting (students rank these learning techniques as used the most), yet these techniques do not consistently boost students’ performance(specifically on  tests), so other techniques should be used in their place.  “(e.g., retrieval-based learning instead of rereading)  Of the top ten most utilized cognitive techniques, retrieval- based learning, based on over 10 years of analyzed data, is the most effective method but the most underutilized.”

-J.Dunlosky, K.A. Rawson, E.J. Marsh, M.J. Nathan, D. Willingham- Improving Students’ Learning with Effective Learning Techniques/Association for Psychological Science- 2013  

“Direct comparisons of rereading to practice testing (retrieval-based learning/Qstream) have consistently shown rereading to be an inferior technique for promoting learning.” 

– J.Dunlosky, K.A. Rawson, E.J. Marsh, M.J. Nathan, D. Willingham- Improving Students’ Learning with Effective Learning Techniques/Association for Psychological Science- 2013 

“More than 100 years of research has yielded several hundred experiments showing that practice testing/retrieval-based learning/Qstream) enhances learning and retention” 

– J.Dunlosky, K.A. Rawson, E.J. Marsh, M.J. Nathan, D. Willingham- Improving Students’ Learning with Effective Learning Techniques/Association for Psychological Science- 2013 

“Testing(retrieval-based learning/Qstream) is a powerful tool of learning. It alters the way information is stored, making it far more accessible in the future” 

-Dr. Nate Kornell- Williams College

 "Learning is not about studying or getting knowledge in memory. Learning is about retrieving. So it is important to make retrieval practice an integral part of the learning process."  

-Jeffery Karpicke, Purdue University, 2012 Journal of Science

"This idea, also known as the testing effect, rests on myriad studies examining the ability of various types of “tests”—prompts to promote retrieval—to promote learning when compared to studying. It is one of the most consistent findings in cognitive psychology." (Roediger and Butler 2011; Roediger and Pyc 2012).

Who Is Using Qstream Now?

For a partial list of current Qstream clients, click below:

See Our Client List

The Science

Click the link to access the scientific studies and research behind this leading edge technology.

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