#1 Retrieve, Rehearse, and Reflect

Students learn better when they have multiple opportunities to retrieve, rehearse, and reflect on material

  • Myth of massed practice[1]
    • Practice, practice, practice on one specific topic doesn’t make perfect
    • Massed practice is one of the least productive learning strategies
    • It may result in short term memorization but does not lead to mastery or long term retention
  • Productive Rehearsal[2]
    • Practice that is spacedinterleaved with other learning, and varied leads to longer retention, mastery, and increased versatility and ability to discriminate
      • Spaced- Students should “forget” between practice sessions requiring them to retrieve information
      • Interleaved- Practice that includes the use of 2 or more skills improves mastery
      • Varied- Transferring skills from one situation to another helps with ability to discriminate
    • Effective practice is goal-directed, appropriately challenging, and requires sufficient time[3]
  • Retrieval[4]
    • Retrieval that requires effort and is spaced out supports learning. Mindless recitation is not as effective.
    • Testing effect- Recalling knowledge from memory leads one to be able to recall knowledge easier in the future. Testing that requires retrieval of information supports deeper learning and understanding of material.
    • Tests that required student to create an answer are more effective then recognition tests for requiring effortful knowledge retrieval
      • Essay or short answer versus multiple choir or true/false
      • Where more cognitive effort is used, there are stronger benefits
    • Reflection supports learning
      • Reflection requires retrieving knowledge from earlier training, connecting new experiences, visualizing, and mentally rehearsing all of which support the development of mastery[5]

[1] Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, and Mark A. McDaniel, Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning (Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Pres, 2014), 9-10.

[2] Ibid., 46-66.

[3] Susan A. Ambrose, Michael W. Bridges, Michele DiPietro, Marcha C. Lovett, and Marie K. Norman, How Learning Works: 7 Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2010).121-152.

[4] Brown et al. Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning, 23-45.

[5] Ibid. 27.