Tag Archives: retrieval practice

Meet Blake Harvard, “Effortful Educator”

An interview with Blake Harvard: high-school psychology teacher, and Effortful Educator. Continue reading



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The Better Choice: Open- or Closed-Book Quizzes

As predicted by research into “retrieval practice,” closed-book quizzes do in fact help students learn better than open-book quizzes do. Once again, the right kind of difficulties can be desirable in school. Continue reading



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Can Teachers Be Trusted to Evaluate Research?

Too often, teachers hear that our judgment about classroom applications of scientific research isn’t to be trusted. And yet, teacher judgment is essential when applying research in the classroom. Given that psychology research affects classroom practice only when teachers use it, why put down the teachers who are essential partners in this process? Our field should focus not on competition, but on respectful collaboration. Continue reading



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Good News! Contradictory Research on Desirable Difficulties…

As we regularly emphasize here on the blog, attempts to recall information benefit learning. That is: students might study by reviewing material. Or, they might study with practice tests. (Or flashcards. Perhaps Quizlet.) Researchers call this technique “retrieval practice,” and



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The Limits of Retrieval Practice, Take II…

Just two weeks ago, I posted about a study showing potential boundary conditions for retrieval practice: one of the most robustly supported classroom strategies for enhancing long-term memories. As luck would have it, the authors of that study wrote up their



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The Limits of Retrieval Practice: A Helpful Case Study

Here on the blog, I write A LOT about the benefits of “retrieval practice.” (For example: here and here.) In brief: our students often review by trying to put information into their brains. That is: they “go over” the material. However,



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Let’s Get Practical: When Should Students Self-Test?

When should students self-test for maximum learning? Recent research suggests that retrieval practice timing matters less than retrieval practice doing. That is: students can self test at the end of a textbook section, or an the end of a chapter; both techniques help them learn. For even better memories, do both! Continue reading



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Putting Research to Work in the Classroom: Success?

Some study habits have been shown to work in psychology labs. Do they work in college classrooms? A recent study shows that “retrieval practice” clearly helps students learn. The findings on “the spacing effect” are harder to interpret… Continue reading



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Vital Resources in Psychology: the Best Research for Teachers

These vital resources in psychology research can help teachers find the most effective teaching practices. They also provide lively examples of researchers doing what they do best: exploring complex questions with imagination and humility. Continue reading



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Motivating Retrieval Practice: Money Doesn’t Help

This study suggests that retrieval practice should–as much as possible–come in the form of very-low-stakes or no-stakes retrieval. Continue reading



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