Self-reported use of retrieval practice varies across age and domain

Jonathan G. Tullis, Geoffrey B. Maddox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Study strategies that learners utilize impact how much they learn. Practicing retrieval from long-term memory (e.g., practice tests or flashcards) is a particularly effective study strategy that can provide large learning benefits; yet, students rarely recognize the benefits of retrieval practice. Here, we examine whether a sample of middle and high school students report using retrieval practice when studying on their own, why they use it, and whether its use varies by age and learning domain. The results show that most middle and high school students in our sample report using retrieval practice, but students utilize re-reading strategies more. The high school students in our sample report using retrieval practice more than the surveyed middle school students, and this may be driven by differences in their reasoning for using it. Finally, students’ ages and learning domains interact to affect how widely retrieval practice is utilized. Students’ use of retrieval practice grows with age and changes by domain. While more students report using retrieval practice than in prior literature, many students still fail to fully harness the learning benefits that retrieval practice can provide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-154
Number of pages26
JournalMetacognition and Learning
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020

Keywords

  • Metacognition
  • Retrieval practice
  • Study strategies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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