Tag Archives: retrieval practice

Student Doing Homework with Laptop

How To Make Sure Homework Really Helps (a.k.a.: “Retrieval Practice Fails”)

Most research focuses narrowly on just a few questions. For instance: “Does mindful meditation help 5th grade students reduce anxiety?” “How many instructions overwhelm college students’ working memory?” “Do quizzes improve attention when students learn from online videos?” Very occasionally,



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Getting the Order Just Right: When to “Generate,” When to “Retrieve”?

When teachers get advice from psychology and neuroscience, we start by getting individual bits of guidance. For instance… … mindful meditation reduces stress, or … growth mindset strategies (done the right way) can produce modest benefits, or … cell phones



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Let’s Get Practical: What Works Best in the Classroom?

At times, this blog explores big-picture hypotheticals — the “what if” questions that can inspire researchers and teachers. And, at times, we just want practical information. Teachers are busy folks. We simply want to know: what works? What really helps my



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To Grade or Not to Grade: Should Retrieval Practice Quizzes Be Scored? [Repost]

We’ve seen enough research on retrieval practice to know: it rocks. When students simply review material (review their notes; reread the chapter), that mental work doesn’t help them learn. However, when they try to remember (quiz themselves, use flashcards), this kind



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“Compared to What”: Is Retrieval Practice Really Better?

When teachers turn to brain research, we want to know: which way is better? Are handwritten notes better than laptop notes? Is cold-calling better than calling on students who raise their hands? Is it better to spread practice out over time,



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To Grade or Not to Grade: Should Retrieval Practice Quizzes Be Scored?

We’ve seen enough research on retrieval practice to know: it rocks. When students simply review material (review their notes; reread the chapter), that mental work doesn’t help them learn. However, when they try to remember (quiz themselves, use flashcards), this kind



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Retrieval Practice and Metacognition: What and How Do Students Think about This Powerful Learning Strategy?

Ask almost anyone in Learning and the Brain world, they’ll tell you: retrieval practice benefits students. More than most any other technique we have, this one both has lots of research support and can easily be integrated into our classrooms. (For a handy review



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Two New Ways of Thinking About Memory

In our classroom work, we teachers focus on learning; in their research, psychologists and neuroscientists often focus on memory. We have, in other words, different frameworks for talking about the same topic. When I find one review article that provides TWO fresh ways



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“But How Do We Know If It Works in the Classroom?”: The Latest on Retrieval Practice

We’ve heard so much about retrieval practice in the last two years that it seems like we’ve ALWAYS known about its merits. But no: this research pool hasn’t been widely known among teachers until recently. We can thank Agarwal and



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“Successive Relearning”: 1 + 1 = +10%

We know that “retrieval practice” helps students learn. We know that “spacing” does too. What happens when we combine those techniques? Continue reading



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