A page of reading links and resources related to Memory and Retrieval (particularly in Science teaching). See also Cognitive Load links and Mastery links plus general Cog Sci links on Cognition in Science 2017 links page.
Thanks to Adam Boxer, Deep Ghataura and Rosalind Walker for helping to compile the core links on this page. What have we missed? Tweet us, leave a comment, or tell us via this form
- An important note of caution here from Maryellen Weimer, PhD The interest in making instruction more evidence-based is laudatory and long overdue. But easy labels can hide layers of complexity, for quizzes and many other instructional practices. More on Evidence-Based Teaching
- Jonathan Firth is a Psychology teacher and a researcher (of memory). His blog site includes posts on testing What are tests and questioning good for? and the Pomodoro technique Improve your focus: the Pomodoro technique
- This post summarises the use of a “concept tracker” to track delivery, practice and retrieval of key concepts in Chemistry (and links to the tracker) Niki Kaiser – Threshold Concepts (3) Teaching & spacing (…how long is a piece of string?…)
- Blog by @Benneypenyrheol where he explains how and why he spaced review and retrieval of topics with his pupils Optimal time for gaps until re-study?
- This post summarises how confidence measures were used to track understanding via review and retrieval Threshold concepts (4) confidence and retrieval
- This Learning Scientists blog introduces and describes the spreadsheet that helps teachers plan and space topics and quizzes Topic and Quiz Spacing Spreadsheet: A Planning Tool for Teachers
- Bryan Penfound has written a series of 3 posts about interleaved practice. This is the second post, where he describes why and how he did it. It has some useful resources linked from it. Penfound – Journey to interleaved practice (2)
- In this post, Ollie Lovell explains how he uses weekly quizzes and progress checks How do we know what to put on the quiz?
- Adam Boxer explains and shares his retrieval roulette “A simple Excel program that uses a list of questions and answers to generate a random 10 question quiz. “
- Another post from a teacher explaining how and why they have used retrieval practice as part of their teaching. “The ultimate goal, I believe, is to have my students apply the major learning strategies in their everyday studying/practice. They become their study habits. The strategies are the norm. I believe by doing this, I’ll perhaps be helping my students enjoy learning a bit more while also preparing them for their university classes.” Effortful Educator – Retrieval Practice in the High School Classroom
- This is a really excellent post where the same teacher talks again about retrieval practice, but this time also talks about encouraging metacognition in their students “While I instruct highly intelligent adolescents, most of my students do not enter my room as great learners. They are merely great memorizers. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but it becomes much more difficult to just memorize your way through college and most of my students (80% to 90%) will attend university.” Effortful Educator – Promoting Metacognition with Retrieval Practice in Five Steps
- A summary of Bjork’s research set in the context of a visit to his lab. A week at the Bjork learning and forgetting lab
- Jos Outred (Diss High School) summarised the main point sof this very important book for his colleagues Make it stick (notes)
- A beautifully lyrical piece about why we might want to test (and re-test) pupils Martin Robinson – Practise teaching, teaching practice, testing times
- A post about retrieval practice Bodil- How should I revisit past content?
- A response to criticism of Cognitive Science research Nick Rose- No. don’t forget everything we know about memory
The Learning Scientists have a huge number of posts on different aspects of memory and retrieval, Here is a selection of them
- Learn to study using… interleaving
- Learn how to study using… Retrieval Practice
- Learn how to study using… Elaboration
- Learn how to study using… Spaced Practice
- Smith &Weinstein- The many benefits of retrieval practice
Didau has written a number of posts summarising the research of Bjork and others, and suggesting ways that you can apply it in the classroom. Here are a few of them:
- Didau- Deliberately difficult
- Didau- The testing effect is dead. Long live the testing effect!
- Didau- Struggle and Success
Link pages, reports and guides
There’s a number of summaries, articles and reports out there about memory and retrieval. They are generally very readable. These are a few of them.
- Bjork and Bjork – Making Things Hard on Yourself, But in a Good Way: Creating Desirable Difficulties to Enhance Learning
- Dunlosky et al. – Improving Students’ Learning With Effective Learning Techniques: Promising Directions From Cognitive and Educational Psychology
- Nature- Jenifer Aniston strikes a nerve
- Decoding the Halle Berry cell
- Link page: Washington University – Test-Enhanced Learning in the Classroom
- Link page- Retrievalpractice.org
- Links to publications about distributed practice, spacing and retrieval – Carolina Kuepper-Tetzel publications
- Agarwal – Retrieval Practice GuideStengthening the student toolbox
- WWC- Organizing Instruction and Study to Improve Student Learning
EEF studies and reports
- EEF study- SMART spaces (Spaced Learning in Science)
- EEF- Spaced Learning: The Design, Feasibility and Optimisation of SMART Spaces Evaluation report and executive summary
- EEF- Neuroscience and Education: A Review of Educational Interventions and Approaches Informed by Neuroscience
- Agarwar et al. (2008) Examining the Testing Effect with Open- and Closed-Book Tests
- Karpicke and Blunt (2011): Retrieval Practice Produces More Learning than Elaborative Studying with Concept Mapping
- McDaniel et. al. (2011) Test-Enhanced Learning in a Middle School Science Classroom: The Effects of Quiz Frequency and Placement
- McDermott et al., (2013) – Both Multiple-Choice and Short-Answer Quizzes Enhance Later Exam Performance in Middle and High School Classes
- Hartman and Nelson (2015) Do we have to memorise that? Cognitive Science for Chemists
- Roediger et al., (2011) – Ten Benefits of Testing and Their Applications to Educational Practice
- ££ Adescope et al (2017)- Rethinking the Use of Tests: A Meta-Analysis of Practice Testing
- ££ Karpicke and Aue (2015) – The Testing Effect Is Alive and Well with Complex Materials
- ££ Karpicke (2012) – Retrieval-Based Learning Active Retrieval Promotes Meaningful Learning
- Karpicke (2009) – Metacognitive strategies in student learning: Do students practise retrieval when they study on their own?
- Roediger (2006) – Test-Enhanced Learning Taking Memory Tests Improves Long-Term Retention
- McDaniel et al. (2007) – Generalizing test-enhanced learning from the laboratory to the classroom
- Sci American (2015) – The Interleaving Effect: Mixing It Up Boosts Learning
- ££ Rohrer et al. (2014) – The benefit of interleaved mathematics practice is not limited to superficially similar kinds of problems.
- Rohrer (2012) – Interleaving Helps Students Distinguish among Similar Concepts
- ££ Taylor and Rohrer (2009) – The effects of interleaved practice
Resources examples and exemplars
What have we missed? Tweet us, leave a comment, or tell us via this form
Practical resounrces from the Learning Scientists can be downloaded here.
Examples and Exemplars
- Adam Boxer’s retrieval roulette is “a simple Excel program that uses a list of questions and answers to generate a random 10 question quiz. “
- This spreadsheet programme helps you to plan interleaving and quizzing over the course of (for example) a year
- A couple of examples of short quiz starters from Niki Kaiser that were used to introduce new topic (Organic Chemistry) by retrieving ideas from previous topics. (ignore Q6 on second slide)
5. Ways of planning retrieval (and interleaving) into curriculum (Niki Kaiser).
6. Ways of integrating retrieval/ spaced practice into every lesson so that it becomes expected part of routine in this post