The Power of Retrieval Practice to Improve Long-Term Memory – Marshall Memo

Ik ontvang de Marshall Memo. Deze Memo, gepubliceerd sinds 2003 door Kim Marshall, is ontworpen om schoolhoofden, docenten, onderwijsbeleidsmakers, enzovoorts op de hoogte/goedgeïnformeerd te houden over onderwijsrelevant onderzoek en ‘best practices’. Kim maakt gebruik van zijn ervaring als docent, schoolhoofd, bovenschoolse leider, onderwijsbestuurder en onderwijsconsulent om het werk van anderen lichter te maken door op te treden als een soort “aangewezen-lezer.” In het kader van mijn reproductie van zijn werk, zegt Kim, dat men mag individuele samenvattingen uit zijn Memo verspreiden indien zowel de Marshall Memoals de originele bronnen en auteurs vermeld zijn. Dus, bij dezen.

In zijn nieuwe Memo stond een stuk over retrieval practice  (zie ook dit en dit) dat ik docenten niet wil onthouden. Hoewel het in het Engels is (sorry, geen tijd om het te vertalen), denk ik dat het voor docenten en schoolhoofden goed te lezen, begrijpen en te gebruiken is.

In this Cult of Pedagogy article, Jennifer Gonzalez says she’s surprised that “retrieval practice” (trying to recall information without having it in front of you, then checking to see how much you remembered) isn’t discussed more frequently by teachers and school leaders. But isn’t this old hat? After all, flashcards have been around for at least 100 years. “What’s new is the research,” says Gonzalez. “In recent years, cognitive psychologists have been comparing retrieval practice with other methods of studying – strategies like review lectures, study guides, and re-reading texts. And what they’re finding is that nothing cements long-term learning as powerfully as retrieval practice.”

Gonzalez interviewed Pooja Agarwal, a leading researcher in this area, who described one of the experiments she conducted with her colleagues. In a middle-school social studies class, students were given regular quizzes that covered only 1/3 of the material they were learning. During these no-stakes quizzes, the teacher left the room and didn’t know which segment of her curriculum was being quizzed. In end-of-unit exams, students scored a full grade higher on the material that was quizzed than on the 2/3 that was taught and reviewed in the usual manner. Clearly the act of being quizzed was what improved students’ long-term memory.

“Here’s what this means for teachers,” says Gonzalez. “When we teach something once, then want to do something else to help students learn it better, instead of just reviewing the content, we’re much better off giving something like a quiz instead. In other words, if we do more asking students to pull concepts out of their brains, rather than continually trying to put concepts in, students will actually learn those concepts better.” Gonzalez reviews some time-honored ways to use this approach in the classroom:

  • Think-pair-share – The teacher poses a question – for example, “Think of one thing you learned yesterday about cells” – has all students jot down their answers, and then turn to a partner and share answers. Having students first retrieve individually is important, because if they immediately pair up, only the quickest responder will get the retrieval benefit.
  • Low-stakes quizzes – These can be on paper or with an all-class response system like Plickers, Poll Everywhere, or clickers. Making quizzes low-stakes is important to tapping into the retrieval effect without raising students’ stress level.
  • Brain dumps – Have students get a sheet of paper (or launch a blank document on their computers) and write down everything they know about a topic. This could be at the beginning of a unit, part way through, or near the end. Students then discuss what they’ve written with a partner, focusing on discrepancies and gaps, and combine the whole class’s information into a whole-class brain dump.
  • Flashcards – These can work well in class or at home, but students need to be taught how to use them correctly: (a) Once a card has been mastered, keep it in the deck until it’s been answered correctly three times; (b) Actually retrieve the answer and say it out loud (students don’t get the full benefit if they look at a familiar item, think “I know this,” and look at the back of the card); (c) Shuffle the deck; changing the sequence makes remembering more challenging. See https://collegeinfogeek.com/flash-card-study-tips/ for more ideas on flashcards.

Gonzalez suggests using retrieval practice in Do Nows, during-class sponge activities, exit slips, and something to do while students stand in line for lunch. Some additional suggestions:

–   Remember that retrieval practice is a learning activity, not an assessment, and should be kept low-stakes.

–   Retrieval practice is most effective when it’s done in short bursts over time, rather than in a long session. “This spacing causes students to forget some of the material, and the struggle involved in trying to recall it strengthens their long-term learning,” says Gonzalez.

–   Include feedback. “If students retrieve the wrong information, the practice won’t be much good unless they find out the right information,” she says, “so be sure to give them feedback as they go.” This also improves students’ metacognitive judgment on when they really remember something and when they don’t.

–   Include higher-order questions if that will be the focus of the unit’s summative assessment.

 

“Retrieval Practice: The Most Powerful Learning Strategy You’re Not Using” by Jennifer Gonzalez in Cult of Pedagogy, September 24, 2017,  https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/retrieval-practice/

About Paul Kirschner

Nederlands: Prof. dr. Paul A. Kirschner, dr.h.c. is Universiteishoogleraar en hoogleraar Onderwijspsychologie aan de Open Universiteit. Hij is ook Visiting Professor Onderwijs met een leerstoel in Leren en Interactie in de Lerarenopleiding aan Oulu University (Finland) waar hij ook een Eredoctoraat heeft (doctor honoris causa). Hij is een internationaal erkende expert op zijn gebied en heeft zitting gehad in de Onderwijsraad in de periode 2000-2004 en is lid van de Wetenschappelijk Technische Raad van SURF. Hij is Fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA; NB de eerste Europeaan aan wie deze eer werd toegekend), de International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS) en van de Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Science of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (NIAS-KNAW). Hij was President van de International Society for the Learning Sciences (ISLS) in de periode 2010-2011. Hij is Hoofdredacteur van de Journal of Computer Assisted Learning en Commissioning Editor van Computers in Human Behavior, en hij is auteur van Ten steps to complex learning (Routledge/Erlbaum). Hij schrift ook regelmatig voor Didactief (de kolom KirschnerKiest over wat docenten kunnen met wetenschappelijke resultaten). Hij is ook medeauteur van het boek Jongens zijn slimmer dan meisjes XL (EN: Urban Myths about Learning and Education). Hij wordt gezien als expert op veel gebieden en vooral computerondersteund samenwerkend leren (CSCL), het ontwerpen van innovatieve, elektronische leeromgevingen, mediagebruik in het onderwijs en het verwerven van complex cognitieve vaardigheden. English: Paul A. Kirschner (1951) is Distinguished University Professor and professor of Educational Psychology at the Open University of the Netherlands as well as Visiting Professor of Education with a special emphasis on Learning and Interaction in Teacher Education at the University of Oulu, Finland where he was also honoured with an Honorary Doctorate (doctor honoris causa). He was previously professor of Educational Psychology and Programme Director of the Fostering Effective, Efficient and Enjoyable Learning environments (FEEEL) programme at the Welten Institute, Research Centre for Learning, Teaching and Technology at the Open University of the Netherlands. He is an internationally recognised expert in the fields of educational psychology and instructional design. He is Research Fellow of the American Educational Research Association and the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Science. He was President of the International Society for the Learning Sciences (ISLS) in 2010-2011, member of both the ISLS CSCL Board and the Executive Committee of the Society and he is an AERA Research Fellow (the first European to receive this honour). He is currently a member of the Scientific Technical Council of the Foundation for University Computing Facilities (SURF WTR) in the Netherlands and was a member of the Dutch Educational Council and, as such, was advisor to the Minister of Education (2000-2004). He is chief editor of the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, commissioning editor of Computers in Human Behavior, and has published two very successful books: Ten Steps to Complex Learning (now in its third revised edition and translated/published in Korea and China) and Urban Legends about Learning and Education (also in Dutch, Swedish, and Chinese). He also co-edited two other books (Visualizing Argumentation and What we know about CSCL). His areas of expertise include interaction in learning, collaboration for learning (computer supported collaborative learning), and regulation of learning.

3 Responses to “The Power of Retrieval Practice to Improve Long-Term Memory – Marshall Memo”

  1. Elwin Savelsbergh Reply 27 September 2017 at 09:26

    Ook wel bekend als “het testing-effect”. Actieve verwerkingstaken, oefenen en feedback zijn zeker nodig, maar “retrieval practice” en “quizzes” zijn niet voor alle inhouden de aangewezen weg.

    Zie bijv. Van Gog & Sweller (2015): “Not New, but Nearly Forgotten: the Testing Effect Decreases or even Disappears as the Complexity of Learning Materials Increases.”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Werkt actief leren? Goede vraag, maar de verkeerde! | Blogcollectief Onderzoek Onderwijs - 6 December 2017

    […] misvattingen bij hen te corrigeren, en (3) frequent gebruik van verschillende soorten toetsen (om retrieval practice te stimuleren, mijn toevoeging). Met de woorden van Bernstein: deze aanpak ‘is misschien de beste […]

  2. Does Active Learning Work? A Good Question, But Not the Right One! – 3-Star learning experiences - 23 January 2018

    […] Bernstein pleads wholeheartedly for, what he calls ‘interactive teaching’, which follows the footsteps of Benjamin (1991), Eison (2008), and Kirschner’s own PhD thesis (1991). In an interactive class more traditional instructional methods (such as direct instruction) are dotted with 1) regular individual and collaborative learning activities, 2) regular questions to learners to encourage them to think about the learning content in a certain way, consider how they have processed the content, and to be able to give learners feedback on any misconceptions, and 3) frequent use of various types of assessment (for example, to encourage retrieval practice ). […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: