Learning is not instantaneous! Nor is progress made in a steady manner, but at a rate that is typified by one of two basic patterns. The first of the learning curves in Figure 1 shows that, for simple tasks, learning occurs first at a rapid rate and then levels off as the task is mastered.
For complex tasks or material, however, the learning curve is significantly different. Initial progress is slow as the learner develops an understanding of the task, and then accelerates as the material is absorbed. Again, levelling off occurs as the subject is mastered.
In some cases, plateaus will be seen in learning curves. These are caused by factors such as fatigue, poor motivation, loss of interest, or needing time to absorb all the material before progressing to new.