Pooja K. Agarwal

Pooja K. Agarwal
Berklee College of Music · Liberal Arts Department

Cognitive Scientist | Educator | Author

About

23
Publications
55,684
Reads
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1,743
Citations
Introduction
Pooja K. Agarwal, Ph.D. (@PoojaAgarwal) is a cognitive scientist, conducting research on how students learn since 2005. She is the author of the book Powerful Teaching: Unleash the Science of Learning and an Assistant Professor at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, teaching psychological science to exceptional undergraduate musicians. Her research has been published in leading journals; highlighted by The New York Times, NPR, Scientific American, and Education Week; and recognized by the National Science Foundation. Pooja received her Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, under the mentorship of distinguished memory scholar, Henry L. Roediger, III.
Additional affiliations
August 2016 - June 2019
Berklee College of Music
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Education
August 2007 - July 2011
Washington University in St. Louis
Field of study
  • Cognitive Psychology

Publications

Publications (23)
Article
Full-text available
Three experiments examined whether quizzing promotes learning and retention of material from a social studies course with sixth grade students from a suburban middle school. The material used in the experiments was the course material students were to learn and some of the dependent measures were the actual tests on which students received grades....
Article
Full-text available
Two experiments examined the testing effect with open-book tests, in which students view notes and textbooks while taking the test, and closed-book tests, in which students take the test without viewing notes or textbooks. Subjects studied prose passages and then restudied or took an open- or closed-book test. Taking either kind of test, with feedb...
Article
Full-text available
Over the course of a 5-year applied research project with more than 1,400 middle school students, evidence from a number of studies revealed that retrieval practice in authentic classroom settings improves long-term learning (Agarwal et al. 2009; McDaniel et al., Journal of Educational Psychology 103:399–414, 2011; McDaniel et al. 2012; Roediger et...
Article
Full-text available
The development of students’ higher order learning is a critical component of education. For decades, educators and scientists have engaged in an ongoing debate about whether higher order learning can only be enhanced by building a base of factual knowledge (analogous to Bloom’s taxonomy) or whether higher order learning can be enhanced directly by...
Article
Full-text available
Given the growing interest in retrieval practice among educators, it is valuable to know when retrieval practice does and does not improve student learning—particularly for educators who have limited classroom time and resources. In this literature review, we developed a narrow operational definition for “classroom research” compared to previous re...
Preprint
Given the growing interest in retrieval practice among educators, it is valuable to know when retrieval practice does and does not improve student learning—particularly for educators who have limited classroom time and resources. In this literature review, we developed a narrow operational definition for “classroom research” compared to previous re...
Book
Powerful Teaching: Unleash the Science of Learning empowers educators to harness rigorous research on how students learn and unleash it in their classrooms. In this book, cognitive scientist Pooja K. Agarwal, Ph.D., and veteran K–12 teacher Patrice M. Bain, Ed.S., decipher cognitive science research and illustrate ways to successfully apply the sci...
Article
Full-text available
The learning sciences span multiple fields, including psychology, computer science, and neuroscience. In particular, cognitive psychology focuses on complex operations that occur inside the brain. Attention to these hidden processes can reveal ways to promote lasting learning. Pooja Agarwal and Henry Roediger draw on research in both the laboratory...
Article
Full-text available
We examined the effects of retrieval practice for students who varied in working memory capacity as a function of the lag between study of material and its initial test, whether or not feedback was given after the test, and the retention interval of the final test. We sought to determine whether a blend of these conditions exists that maximises ben...
Article
Full-text available
When retrieval practice is applied in classroom settings, do K-12 students experience changes in test anxiety? To answer this question frequently asked by educators, we surveyed 1,408 middle school and high school students about their study strategy preferences and their reactions to a classroom-based program of retrieval practice. Our data suggest...
Article
Full-text available
A collective memory is a representation of the past that is shared by members of a group. We investigated similarities and differences in the collective memories of younger and older adults for three major wars in U.S. history (the Civil War, World War II, and the Iraq War). Both groups were alive during the recent Iraq War, but only the older subj...
Article
Full-text available
We examined whether learning from quizzing arises from memorization of answers or fosters more complete understanding of the quizzed content. In middle-school science classes, we spaced three multiple-choice quizzes on content in a unit. In Experiment 1, the class exams included questions given on quizzes, transfer questions targeting the same cont...
Article
Full-text available
Practicing retrieval of recently-studied information enhances the likelihood of the learner retrieving that information in the future. We examined whether short-answer and multiple-choice classroom quizzing could enhance retention of information on classroom exams taken for a grade. In 7th grade science and high school history classes, students too...
Article
Full-text available
It is September 2012—let us take stock of the past 55 years in the field of education. In 1957–1958, the Soviet launching of Sputnik led to the National Defense Education Act and interest in teaching advanced math and science to all students. In 1983, a report entitled "A Nation at Risk" was released and caused widespread panic about our failing ed...
Article
Full-text available
Two experiments examined the influence of practice with, and the expectancy of, open-book tests (students viewed studied material while taking the test) versus closed-book tests (students completed the test without viewing the studied material) on delayed retention and transfer. Using GRE materials specifically designed for open-book testing, parti...
Article
Full-text available
Typically, teachers use tests to evaluate students' knowledge acquisition. In a novel experimental study, we examined whether low-stakes testing (quizzing) can be used to foster students' learning of course content in 8th grade science classes. Students received multiple-choice quizzes (with feedback); in the quizzes, some target content that would...
Article
Full-text available
The development of higher order skills is a desired outcome of education. Some believe that higher order learning can be improved directly, whereas others argue that higher order learning can be improved via the enhancement of factual or conceptual knowledge. The relationship between fact and higher order learning is often speculated, but empirical...
Article
Full-text available
Multiple-choice testing has both positive and negative consequences for performance on later tests. Prior testing increases the number of questions answered correctly on a later test but also increases the likelihood that questions will be answered with lures from the previous multiple-choice test (Roediger & Marsh, 2005). Prior research has shown...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter, the authors make the claim that education in schools would greatly benefit from additional testing, and the need for increased testing probably increases with advancement in the educational system. By testing we mean the types of assessments (tests, essays, exercises) given in the classroom or assigned for homework. The reason we a...
Chapter
Full-text available
Of all the common afflictions from which humankind suffers, forgetting is probably the most common. Each of us, every day, forgets something we wish we could remember. It might be something we have done, something we intended to do, a fact, a name of a person or restaurant, and so on ad infinitum. As we age, our incidents of forgetting increase and...
Article
Full-text available
Many thousands of students take standardized tests every year. In the current research, we asked whether answering standardized test questions affects students' later test performance. Prior research has shown both positive and negative effects of multiple-choice testing on later tests, with negative effects arising from students selecting incorrec...

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