Cold start

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A cold start refers to a situation where a lecture or instructional segment begins directly by plunging into new material, leaving off from where the previous lecture or instructional segment ended. The alternative to a cold start is a warm start that begins by briefly reviewing or recapitulating past material or with some other form of pleasantry.


  • Cold starts can be efficient in terms of time.
  • In case the material being started is largely independent of recently covered material, it may mean that people who had trouble with the previous material are less likely to switch off.


Students who have not mastered the prior material may switch off on a cold start in cases where the new material builds heavily on prior material.