learning curve

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learning curve (plural learning curves)

  1. A visualization of the progress of learning as function of experience.
    • 1903 April 1, Edgar James Swift, “Studies in the Psychology and Physiology of Learning”, in The American Journal of Psychology, volume 14, page 210:
      We shall return to these personal differences later in discussing the individual features of the learning curves.
  2. (by extension) A measure of how much there is to learn in a restricted amount of time
    • 2011 April 17, Jessica Creighton, “Mutai and Keitany secure Kenyan London Marathon double”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      Damen told BBC Sport: "The crowd were phenomenal they carried me through the last few metres. I don't think you can ever prepare enough for this event. It's a massive learning curve for me. From here, I'd like to work on my shorter distances and get some speed back."
    • 2020 December 2, Andy Byford talks to Paul Clifton, “I enjoy really big challenges...”, in Rail, page 54:
      Toronto Transit Corporation had real issues. [...] My boss was removed in a coup three months after my arrival. I stood in and my learning curve went through the roof. Over five years, we went from being a laughing stock to winning awards.