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Distributed and massed practice: From laboratory to classroom

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Abstract

The benefit to memory of spacing presentations of material is well established but lacks an adequate explanation and is rarely applied in education. This paper presents three experiments that examined the spacing effect and its application to education. Experiment 1 demonstrated that spacing repeated presentations of items is equally beneficial to memory for a wide range of ages, contrary to some theories. Experiment 2 introduced ‘clustered’ presentations as a more relevant control than massed, reflecting the fact that massed presentation of material is uncommon in education. The scheduling of clustered presentations was intermediate between massed and distributed, yet recall was no different than for massed. Experiment 3, a classroom-based study, demonstrated the benefit of distributed over clustered teaching of reading through modification of the scheduling of everyday lessons. Thus, the effectiveness of teaching may be improved by increasing the degree to which lessons are distributed. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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... The spacing effect was verified in many learning domains, including mathematics (e.g., Rohrer & Taylor, 2006), L1 vocabulary acquisition among children (Childers & Tomasello, 2002;Namaziandost, Sabzevari, & Hashemifardnia, 2018), recalling facts of physics, and memorizing pictures (e.g., Toppino, 1993), to remember information. The spacing effect was also proven to be effective in performing text tasks (e.g., Seabrook, Brown & Solity, 2005;Namaziandost, Rahimi Esfahani, & Ahmadi, 2019). Also, the spacing effect can be effective in developing complex skills beyond rotary memorization. ...
... Whereas, several previous studies demonstrated the greater learning ability of spaced teaching in mass education in grammar learning (Miles, (Miles & Kwon, 2008;Nakata, 2015;Shakibaei, Shahamat, & Namaziandost, 2019), and reading (Seabrook, Brown, & Solity, 2005). Recent evidence indicates that spaced delivery instructions are better than mass distribution instructions in maintaining target language constructs, i.e. when learning is measured after a delayed posttest (Miles, 2014;. ...
... The findings imply that spacing instruction enhanced Iranian EFL learners' collocation learning. The findings are in line with previous studies in cognitive psychology (Seabrook et al., 2005) which confirmed the effect of spaced distribution instruction in different domains of learning. Moreover, the results are also corroborating some previous studies (e.g., Miles, 2014;Miles & Kwon, 2008;Namaziandost, Rahimi Esfahani, & Hashemifardnia, 2018;Rohrer & Pashler, 2007;Namaziandost, Nasri, Rahimi Esfahani, & Keshmirshekan 2019) showing that the spaced distribution instruction improved foreign language learning. ...
Article
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This study compared the impact of spaced instruction and massed instruction on learning collocations among Iranian EFL learners. To do so, 60 Iranian pre-intermediate EFL learners were selected among 90 students based on the results of Oxford Quick Placement Test (OQPT). The selected participants were then non-randomly divided into two equal experimental groups; spaced group and massed group. Afterwards, the researcher measured the participants' collocations knowledge by administering a collocation pre-test. Then, 100 English collocations were instructed to the both experimental groups in the treatment phase of the study. After the instruction, a collocation post-test was administered to both groups and finally the data were analyzed by using paired and independent samples t-tests. The obtained results indicated that there was a significant difference between the post-tests of spaced and massed groups. The findings indicated that the spaced group significantly outperformed the massed group (p < .05) on the post-test. The implications of this study can make the teachers aware that teaching through spaced intervals can provide better results than teaching through one massed session.
... For recollecting data, the spacing effect has been checked in many learning spaces, including science (e.g., Rohrer & Taylor, 2006), L1 vocabulary procurement among youngsters (Childers & Tomasello, 2002), recalling material science certainties, and in remembering pictures (e.g., Toppino, 1993). The separating impact has likewise been demonstrated viable in content preparing errands (e.g., Seabrook, Brown, & Solity, 2005). Rohrer and Taylor (2006) affirmed the vital advantage of utilizing the spacing impact for complicated numerical ability movement. ...
... In the interim, the overwhelming majority of past researches have divulged the more prominent learning capability of spaced instruction over massed instruction in learning of grammar (Miles, 2014), vocabulary (Miles & Kwon, 2008;Nakata, 2015), and reading (Seabrook et al., 2005). There is late proof that spaced distribution training is premiere to distribution instruction in the maintenance of target language structures, that is, when learning is evaluated following a delayed posttest (Miles, 2014). ...
... The findings imply that spacing instruction enhanced Iranian EFL learners' reading comprehension. The findings are in line with previous studies in cognitive psychology (Seabrook et al., 2005), which confirmed the effect of spaced distribution instruction in different domains of learning. Moreover, the results are also corroborating some previous studies (e.g., Miles, 2014;Miles & Kwon, 2008;Rohrer & Pashler, 2007) showing that the spaced distribution instruction improved foreign language learning. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study compared the effects of spacing and massed instructions on Iranian English as a foreign language (EFL) learners’ reading comprehension. To fulfill this objective, 50 Iranian participants were selected among 80 students based on the results of Oxford Quick Placement Test (OQPT). The intermediate selected participants were then randomly divided into two equal experimental groups; spacing group and massed group. Afterward, the researcher measured the participants’ English reading comprehension by administering a reading comprehension pretest. Then, five English texts from Active One Book were instructed to both experimental groups. In the massed class, each text was taught in an intensive 60-min session, whereas each text was taught to the spaced group in three short sessions (about 60 min in total). The first session lasted for 20 min; the second occurring 2 days after the initial session lasted 20 min; and the third session took 20 min and was held 2 days after the second session. After the instruction, a reading posttest was administered to the both groups and finally the data were analyzed by using paired and independent samples t tests. The obtained results indicated that there was a significant difference between the posttests of spacing and massed groups. The findings indicated that the spacing group significantly outperformed the massed group (p < .05) on the posttest. The implications of this study can make the teachers aware that teaching through spaced intervals can provide better results than teaching through one massed session.
... For recollecting data, the spacing effect has been checked in many learning spaces, including science (e.g., Rohrer & Taylor, 2006), L1 vocabulary procurement among youngsters (Childers & Tomasello, 2002), recalling material science certainties, and in remembering pictures (e.g., Toppino, 1993). The separating impact has likewise been demonstrated viable in content preparing errands (e.g., Seabrook, Brown, & Solity, 2005). Rohrer and Taylor (2006) affirmed the vital advantage of utilizing the spacing impact for complicated numerical ability movement. ...
... In the interim, the overwhelming majority of past researches have divulged the more prominent learning capability of spaced instruction over massed instruction in learning of grammar (Miles, 2014), vocabulary (Miles & Kwon, 2008;Nakata, 2015), and reading (Seabrook et al., 2005). There is late proof that spaced distribution training is premiere to distribution instruction in the maintenance of target language structures, that is, when learning is evaluated following a delayed posttest (Miles, 2014). ...
... The findings imply that spacing instruction enhanced Iranian EFL learners' reading comprehension. The findings are in line with previous studies in cognitive psychology (Seabrook et al., 2005), which confirmed the effect of spaced distribution instruction in different domains of learning. Moreover, the results are also corroborating some previous studies (e.g., Miles, 2014;Miles & Kwon, 2008;Rohrer & Pashler, 2007) showing that the spaced distribution instruction improved foreign language learning. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study compared the effects of spacing and massed instructions on Iranian English as a foreign language (EFL) learners’ reading comprehension. To fulfill this objective, 50 Iranian participants were selected among 80 students based on the results of Oxford Quick Placement Test (OQPT). The intermediate selected participants were then randomly divided into two equal experimental groups; spacing group and massed group. Afterward, the researcher measured the participants’ English reading comprehension by administering a reading comprehension pretest. Then, five English texts from Active One Book were instructed to both experimental groups. In the massed class, each text was taught in an intensive 60-min session, whereas each text was taught to the spaced group in three short sessions (about 60 min in total). The first session lasted for 20 min; the second occurring 2 days after the initial session lasted 20 min; and the third session took 20 min and was held 2 days after the second session. After the instruction, a reading posttest was administered to the both groups and finally the data were analyzed by using paired and independent samples t tests. The obtained results indicated that there was a significant difference between the posttests of spacing and massed groups. The findings indicated that the spacing group significantly outperformed the massed group (p <.05) on the posttest. The implications of this study can make the teachers aware that teaching through spaced intervals can provide better results than teaching through one massed session.
... For instance, distributing study has been found to benefit recall in investigations with a variety of educationally relevant materials, including scientific prose (Roediger & Karpicke, 2006), maps , history facts (Carpenter, Pashler, & Cepeda, 2009), vocabulary (Seabrook, Brown, & Solity, 2005;Sobel, Cepeda, & Kapler, 2010), multiplication facts (Rea & Modigliani, 1985), medical education concepts (Kerfoot, Kearney, Connelly, & Ritchey, 2009), and statistics concepts (Budé, Imbos, Wiel, & Berger, 2011;Smith & Rothkopf, 1984). ...
... Clustered may refer to uninterrupted study of related concepts, or to situations where a unit is studied daily for several consecutive days in school. Laboratory studies have found little difference between massed and clustered conditions (Seabrook et al., 2005). ...
Article
This study is inspired by laboratory studies demonstrating that distributing study sessions over time better supports learning and retention than clustering sessions. We compare two implementations of a multi-day inquiry science unit: in the clustered instruction condition, students completed an inquiry unit in five consecutive class periods. In the distributed instruction condition, students completed one activity per week for five weeks. Both conditions resulted in significant and similar gains in understanding and retention overall. Students’ self-directed revisits to previously studied materials differed by condition, with students in the clustered condition tending to visit materials studied on previous days. These distal revisits explained variance in delayed post-test scores as an interaction effect with condition. Students in the clustered condition who revisited distal materials tended to score higher on the delayed post-test, whereas those in the distributed condition who did so tended to score lower. Our findings illustrate the complexity of realising laboratory findings in classrooms under real-world conditions.
... Notably, researchers conducting educationally relevant research have utilized primarily verbal tasks. Researchers have found spaced practice effective for learning words (Childers & Tomasello, 2002;Sobel, Cepeda, & Kapler, 2011), spelling (Fishman, Keller, & Atkinson, 1968), phonics (Seabrook, Brown, & Solity, 2005), history facts (Carpenter, Pashler, & Cepeda, 2009), and foreign language vocabulary (Bloom & Shuell, 1981). Participants in these studies ranged from toddler-aged to high school. ...
... Researchers investigating spaced practice in schools have often used typical instructional procedures for both practice sessions. Specifically, researchers have used worksheets (Bloom & Shuell, 1981;Sobel et al., 2011), computer-assisted instruction (Fishman et al., 1968) and teacher-provided instruction (Carpenter et al., 2009; Seabrook et al., 2005). In these studies, researchers have held practice constant by providing fixed time and/or exposures across participants. ...
Article
Spaced practice, or the distribution of practice opportunities across time, is a well‐known and effective practice for improving retention. However, spaced practice is not effectively implemented in schools, perhapsl as a result of a lack of educationally relevant research in the area. We conducted an educationally relevant investigation of the spaced practice. Using a quasi‐experimental between‐subjects design, we taught 62 third‐ and fourth‐grade students eight math vocabulary words under two patterns of spaced practice (fixed interval and expanded interval) and massed practice. Results showed a benefit of spaced practice over massed practice, but no difference between fixed interval and expanded interval spaced practice. The findings suggest that spaced practice may be implemented to improve the retention of math vocabulary words; however, more research is needed to provide guidelines to support educators in implementing spaced practice in schools.
... The spacing effect is extremely general. It has been demonstrated in memory tasks involving pictures or words (Hintzman & Rogers, 1973;Janiszewski, Noel, & Sawyer, 2003), in the acquisition of perceptual-motor skills (Lee & Genovese, 1988;Moulton et al., 2006;Stafford & Dewar, 2014), and in the attainment of educationally relevant abilities (Rohrer & Taylor, 2006;Seabrook, Brown, & Solity, 2005). The spacing effect holds across timescales ranging from seconds to years (Bahrick, 1979;Cepeda et al., 2006). ...
... Other studies examined the acquisition of motor skills (Lee & Genovese, 1988). More recently, researchers have turned to complex skills and knowledge, such as language syntax (Bird, 2010), mathematical concepts (Rohrer & Taylor, 2006), reading (Seabrook et al., 2005), and military command and control (Arthur et al., 2010). In nearly all cases, distributed practice facilitates retention. ...
Article
The spacing effect is among the most widely replicated empirical phenomena in the learning sciences, and its relevance to education and training is readily apparent. Yet successful applications of spacing effect research to education and training is rare. Computational modeling can provide the crucial link between a century of accumulated experimental data on the spacing effect and the emerging interest in using that research to enable adaptive instruction. In this paper, we review relevant literature and identify 10 criteria for rigorously evaluating computational models of the spacing effect. Five relate to evaluating the theoretic adequacy of a model, and five relate to evaluating its application potential. We use these criteria to evaluate a novel computational model of the spacing effect called the Predictive Performance Equation (PPE). Predictive Performance Equation combines elements of earlier models of learning and memory including the General Performance Equation, Adaptive Control of Thought—Rational, and the New Theory of Disuse, giving rise to a novel computational account of the spacing effect that performs favorably across the complete sets of theoretic and applied criteria. We implemented two other previously published computational models of the spacing effect and compare them to PPE using the theoretic and applied criteria as guides.
... Meanwhile, the majority of previous studies have revealed the greater learning potential of spaced instruction over massed instruction in learning of grammar (Miles, 2014), vocabulary (Miles & Kwon, 2008;Nakata, 2015;Pavlik & Anderson, 2005;Rohrer & Pashler, 2007;Schuetze, 2015), and reading (Seabrook, Brown, & Solity, 2005). There is, however, strikingly little research on the effects of spaced distribution instruction in Effects of Spaced … foreign language learning, especially grammar learning (Miles, 2014). ...
... The findings imply that spaced distribution instruction may enhance EFL learners' long-term grammar learning. The finding is in tandem with previous studies in cognitive psychology (Pavlik & Anderson, 2005;Seabrook et al., 2005) which confirmed the effect of spaced distribution instruction in different domains of learning. Moreover, the result is also corroborating some previous studies (e.g., Miles, 2014;Miles & Kwon, 2008;Pavlik & Anderson, 2005;Rohrer & Pashler, 2007;Year, 2009) showing that the spaced distribution instruction improved foreign language learning. ...
Article
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The efficacy of massed and spaced distribution instruction in second/foreign language learning is still an issue of debate. Moreover, few studies have probed the possible effect of spaced distribution practice on English as a foreign language (EFL) learners' recall and retention of grammatical structures. This study, therefore, aimed to examine this issue by recruiting 72 Iranian EFL junior high school students in a public school. The participants were randomly assigned to spaced distribution (n = 24), massed distribution (n = 23), and control (n = 25) groups. The massed distribution group had one intensive session on learning the target grammatical structures (i.e., the simple present affirmative, negative, and interrogative forms); the spaced distribution group had three sessions at irregular time intervals; while the control group received no instruction. To collect data on the recall and retention of the target structures, an error correction test was administered to the participants three times as the pretest, immediate posttest and delayed posttest. The results of the repeated measures mixed ANOVAs, one-way ANOVAs, and post hoc Tukey tests revealed that the spaced distribution group significantly outperformed the other two groups on the delayed posttest. However, there was no significant difference between the spaced and massed distribution groups on the immediate posttest. The findings suggest that EFL practitioners can incorporate spacing as an instructional strategy into the curricula and educational materials to foster the recall and retention of English grammatical structures.
... With regard to distributed practice, indications of moderating variables are sparse. While the effect of distributed practice has also been demonstrated for a broad age range including children (e.g., [55]), the role of individual differences with regard to motivational or cognitive variables is less clear. A few studies examined the effect of prior knowledgesome yielding a larger benefit by distributed and interleaved practice for students with low prior knowledge [28,53], while others found no such interaction [47]. ...
... A few studies examined the effect of prior knowledgesome yielding a larger benefit by distributed and interleaved practice for students with low prior knowledge [28,53], while others found no such interaction [47]. Studies on the effect of working memory capacity seem to indicate that there is no interaction with the effect of distributed practice [18,55]. ...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, the effect of distributed practice on the mathematical performance of 7th graders was investigated (N == 81). After a stochastics lesson, one group of students worked three sets of exercises massed on one day, while the other group of students worked the same exercises distributed over three days. Bayesian analyses of the performance two weeks after the last practice revealed no evidence for an effect of practice condition. However, in a test after six weeks, strong evidence for a positive effect of distributed practice was revealed. Exploratory analyses indicated that especially students in the medium performance range benefitted from distributed practice. The results are discussed regarding the question under which circumstances distributed practice proves a useful strategy for mathematical learning.
... To be able to do the top throw quickly and precisely, every player must do the exercises systematically, regularly and continuously with the right principles of training. The training method that can be used to improve the ability of these throws is to use the method massed practice and distributed practice using the method Throwing massed practice exercises are exercises that are carried out repeatedly and continuously, without breaks or very short periods of rest (Seabrook, Brown, & Solity, 2005). Exercises with the method distributed practice are exercises that are carried out repeatedly, where intervals are interspersed with sufficient time. ...
... Learning methods are Massed practice generally used to improve a movement technique due to short periods of rest (Ab Razak et al., 2018) because in the player will remember the movements that were previously carried out and will be carried out for the next movement to correct the movement (Mustofa & Agustiyanto, 2017). While the method of learning distributed practice, in the implementation of the movement interspersed with a relatively long rest period, then the previous movement's memory has been lost, so that it cannot obtain a backup to improve the next movement (Seabrook, Brown, & Solity, 2005). ...
... Daily core instruction for all students included three primary components: one whole group reading lesson with Wonders (McGraw-Hill Education, 2017a), one whole group language arts lesson with Wonders, and two separate small group differentiated lessons with Wonder-Works (McGraw-Hill Education, 2017b). The variety of activities allowed students to move and change focus periodically during the 3-hr block, and it afforded more distributed practice of reading skills as recommended for promoting learning and retention of information (Goossens, Verkeoijen, Tabbers, & Zwaan, 2012;Seabrook, Brown, & Solity, 2005). The curricular materials were adopted for use during the regular academic year, and we followed recommendations from research in aligning the summer program to the school year curricula that students did not master (McCombs et al., 2011). ...
Article
Summer reading programs are a form of extended school year services for students in special education. However, previous studies have not reported including high percentages of participants in special education, nor have studies sufficiently controlled for selection bias. This study combined propensity score weighting with partially clustered models to examine the effects of a summer reading program on the growth in reading skills of K–4 students, roughly 50% to 75% of whom were in special education. Results suggest that students in most grades improved on some but not all skills. However, fewer improvements were apparent when participating students were compared with peers via propensity score analyses. In addition, Grade 3 students in the control group outperformed their peers who attended summer school.
... Thus, as matter of principle, a learning method that has been shown to be beneficial for adult learners is not guaranteed to work for younger learners. However, some studies suggest that distributed learning seems to be as beneficial for young children as for young adults (Toppino et al., 1991;Seabrook et al., 2005). ...
Article
Full-text available
Research with adults in laboratory settings has shown that distributed rereading is a beneficial learning strategy but its effects depend on time of test. When learning outcomes are measured immediately after rereading, distributed rereading yields no benefits or even detrimental effects on learning, but the beneficial effects emerge two days later. In a preregistered experiment, the effects of distributed rereading were investigated in a classroom setting with school students. Seventh-graders (N = 191) reread a text either immediately or after 1 week. Learning outcomes were measured after 4 min or 1 week. Participants in the distributed rereading condition reread the text more slowly, predicted their learning success to be lower, and reported a lower on-task focus. At the shorter retention interval, massed rereading outperformed distributed rereading in terms of learning outcomes. Contrary to students in the massed condition, students in the distributed condition showed no forgetting from the short to the long retention interval. As a result, they performed equally well as the students in the massed condition at the longer retention interval. Our results indicate that distributed rereading makes learning more demanding and difficult and leads to higher effort during rereading. Its effects on learning depend on time of test, but no beneficial effects were found, not even at the delayed test.
... They also felt that the 15 minute duration of the intervention was too long for some children. Although the duration of sessions was reduced to 15 minutes from the 30 minute sessions delivered in past studies (Outhwaite et al., in press;Outhwaite et al., 2017), shorter sessions, spaced over time, may be more effective for preschool children, employing principles of distributed practice (Cepeda et al., 2009;Son & Simon, 2012), thought to be more effective for young learners and improving retention (Seabrook, Brown & Solity, 2005;Shapiro & Solity, 2008). ...
Article
Hand-held technology is increasingly being used in educational settings as a medium of instruction for young children (Hubber et al., 2016). Although the evidence base is developing, little is currently known about the effectiveness of mathematics interventions delivered through tablet technology, particularly for preschool children in the UK. The present research evaluates the impact of the onebillion tablet-based intervention on the mathematics attainment, receptive language and positive ‘approaches to learning’ of 3-4 year old children. An embedded mixed methods design was used in this study. The primary aims of the research were addressed through a quasi-experimental, ability-matched design. Across two nurseries, forty-seven children were allocated to either an experimental group, who accessed the intervention for fifteen minutes per day over 9 weeks (n = 23), or a control group (n = 24). Additional nested data was collected, including qualitative semi-structured facilitator interviews and observations, to further illuminate factors affecting outcomes. At post-test, the experimental group had significantly higher mathematics attainment than the control group (controlling for pre-test ability), assessed on a researcher-developed measure of curriculum knowledge. At 5 month follow-up, the experimental group still appeared to outperform children in the control group, but differences between groups were no longer statistically significant. There was no significant intervention effect on a standardised measure of mathematics, or other aspects of development, including children’s receptive language or ‘approaches to learning’. Based upon analysis of embedded data, a model is proposed of the potential mechanisms underpinning the efficacy of the intervention, accounting for individual differences and implementation factors on outcomes. Findings from this study are discussed in relation to relevant literature and theory. Methodological limitations of the study are also acknowledged, as well as the implications of these findings for the use of educational technology in the early years, the practice of educational psychologists and further research.
... Still, researchers like Dempster (1988), Grote (1995) and Seabrook et al. (2005) claim that besides the widely proven evidence for the SL effect, it receives little attention in educational programmes, class-based learning and teacher training. Cognitive processes can be stimulated and problem-solving skills can be enhanced through incorporating SL techniques either prior to or after the study session. ...
Article
Purpose Spaced learning (SL) and experiential learning (EL) have been identified as being more efficient to long-term knowledge retention than other forms of learning. The purpose of this paper is to confirm these benefits of SL and EL in a work-based learning environment. Design/methodology/approach This case study research monitored changes in learning outcomes of a work-based EL training, the Model Warehouse, when adding SL. The Model Warehouse of the Karlsruher Institute for Technology, Germany intends to educate professionals in lean warehouse logistics. Following a pragmatic standpoint, two groups of students were considered and compared by using multiple-choice question based knowledge tests where one group participated in an additional SL session. The experiences and perceptions of students were assessed by conducting in-depth interviews. Findings Findings revealed that adding SL to the EL training resulted either in students’ knowledge retention or knowledge improvement. Additionally, participants of the SL session did not perceive it as being required to strengthen understanding of lean warehouse management. Practical implications This study recommends considering SL as an effective means to significantly enhance long-term knowledge retention of any work-based or EL training. Originality/value This study confirms the benefits of SL and EL drawn from laboratory-based studies in a real business context. Adopting both learning theories in training programmes which converge with realities of the workplace results in a significant improvement of long-term knowledge retention.
... This results in simulation-based surgical skills training being organized in "boot camp" formats comprising a set amount of massed practice-i.e. a large training volume during a short period of time [18]. Despite the frequent use of this course design, massed practice, including of temporal bone surgery, is inefficient for both acquisition and retention of skills compared with the distribution of practice sessions over a longer period of time-distributed practice [3,4,19,20]. For distributed practice to be possible for trainees, convenient access to training is required. ...
Purpose Virtual reality (VR) training of mastoidectomy is effective in surgical training—particularly if organized as distributed practice. However, centralization of practice facilities is a barrier to implementation of distributed simulation training. Decentralized training could be a potential solution. Here, we aim to assess the feasibility, use, and barriers to decentralized VR mastoidectomy training using a freeware, high-fidelity temporal bone simulator. Methods In a prospective, mixed-methods study, 20 otorhinolaryngology residents were given three months of local access to a VR mastoidectomy simulator. Additionally, trainees were provided a range of learning supports for directed, self-regulated learning. Questionnaire data were collected and focus group interviews conducted. The interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis and compared with quantitative findings. Results Participants trained 48.5 h combined and mainly towards the end of the trial. Most participants used between two and four different learning supports. Qualitative analysis revealed five main themes regarding implementation of decentralized simulation training: convenience, time for training, ease of use, evidence for training, and testing. Conclusions Decentralized VR training using a freeware, high-fidelity mastoidectomy simulator is feasible but did not lead to a high training volume or truly distributed practice. Evidence for training was found motivational. Access to training, educational designs, and the role of testing are important for participant motivation and require further evaluation.
... The latter is a better approach. Spending a small amount of time each school day on spelling takes advantage of the fact that people learn and remember better when instruction is spaced than when it is massed (Seabrook, Brown, & Solity, 2005). Moreover, spelling instruction need not take place in isolation. ...
Article
Purpose: The purpose of this article is to provide a tutorial on statistical learning and its role in learning to spell and to discuss the implications of the research for educators. Method: The tutorial begins with a discussion of statistical learning and its characteristics. It then discusses research on how statistical learning plays out in learning to spell, how spelling should be taught, and similarities and differences among learners. The focus is on the learning of English, although studies of other alphabetic writing systems are also considered. Research shows that, from an early age, children use their statistical learning skills to learn about the visual characteristics of written words. Children also use their statistical learning skills to help learn about the relations between visual units and units of language, supplementing what they are explicitly taught in school. Conclusion: Statistical learning plays an important role in learning to spell, and this can help to explain why some aspects of spelling are more difficult to learn than others. If children are to learn to spell effectively and efficiently, structured instruction is also important.
... Additional work has shown that when both practices are presented, an additive impact is observed, as the combination of practice tests and repeated, spaced exposure to the material produces higher learning gains than either practice used alone [27]. The benefits of spacing and self-testing have been observed in K-12 classrooms as well as in higher education [24,[28][29][30], although both to a much smaller degree relative to the positive results that have been observed in laboratory settings. The potential impact of these practices in a college-setting is very intriguing, especially in light of the need to improve the quality of education with low-cost interventions. ...
Article
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With the nationwide emphasis on improving outcomes for STEM undergraduates, it is important that we not only focus on modifying classroom instruction, but also provide students with the tools to maximize their independent learning time. There has been considerable work in laboratory settings examining two beneficial practices for enhancing learning: spacing and self-testing. In the current study, we examine biology students’ study practices, particularly in the context of these two behaviors. We specifically investigate whether a light-touch study skills intervention focused on encouraging spacing and self-testing practices impacted their utilization. Based on pre- and post-course surveys, we found that students report utilizing both beneficial and ineffective study practices and confirm that usage of spacing and self-testing correlates with a higher course grade. We also found that students in the section of the course which received the study skills intervention were more likely to report continued use or adoption of spacing and self-testing compared to students in control sections without the intervention. Surprisingly, we found that underrepresented minorities (URMs) under-utilize self-testing, and that our intervention helped to partially ameliorate this gap. Additionally, we found that URMs who reported self-testing earned similar course grades compared to non-URMs who also self-tested, but that there was a much larger drop in performance for URMs who did not self-test relative to non-URMs who also did not self-test. Overall, we would encourage instructors to dedicate class time towards discussing the merits of beneficial study practices, especially for students that have historically underperformed in STEM disciplines.
... This has to be done 3-4 periods per week in about 7-10 minutes before dealing with the lesson for the day. 'Spiral revision' is the project's version of 'distributed practice' (see, for example, Johnson & Smith, 1987;Seabrook, Brown & Solity, 2005;Smith & Rothkopf, 1984) which meta-analysis of meta-analytic studies found as one of the aspects that contributed towards enhancing achievement (Hattie, 2009). The other purposes of homework were not addressed and teachers generally used their own ways of dealing with these purposes. ...
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Various efforts are underway to improve achievement in high-stakes examinations in school mathematics. This article reports on one such initiative which focuses on the development of quality teaching of school mathematics by embedding it within an examination-driven emphasis. A quantitative approach was used to analyse the performance of Grade 10 learners in three consecutive end-of-year school-based examinations set by the initiative. Results indicate a trend in a positive direction over the three-year period. Nevertheless, there was a discernible decrease between the first and second administration of the examinations. It is concluded that examination-driven teaching holds a promise for enhancing achievement in high-stakes school mathematics examinations if sensibly and sensitively implemented.
... The pedagogical relevance of such intensive learning is that it emulates real-life classroom conditions in which learners typically have two to three lessons per week, often-by necessity-on consecutive days. In addition, pure massed learning, occurring during one single occasion, has been claimed to be unrealistic (Seabrook, Brown, & Solity, 2005). ...
... It is noted here that these conditions are not new to the literature. Some studies have already been conducted in the context of a real school environment (Sobel et al. 2011: retention of definitions of uncommon English words by 5 th graders; Carpenter et al. 2009: retention of historical facts in eight grade students; Seabrook et al. 2005: reading skills of 1 st graders). More difficult and complex learning objectives were also investigated (Rohrer and Taylor 2006: retention of mathematics knowledge by college students; Reynolds and Glaser 1964: retention of academic biology material by junior high school students; Vlach and Sandhofer 2012: simple and complex generalization of science concepts by 5-7-year-old children). ...
Article
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Spaced learning was applied to solve a very challenging aspect of the traditional approach in learningscientific formulas. Learning formulas, starting from their memorization to their application and the attitudes towardthem, was asserted to be achieved using the spaced learning approach. A sequential, explanatory, mixed methodsresearch design was implemented to see the effects of massed and spaced learning on learning formulas in three intactgroups of early childhood teacher candidates. Lessons were designed to resemble the teaching carried out in mosttraditional physics classrooms and convince physics teachers that there is an approach to solve the problems theyencounter in formula learning. Although teacher candidates think positively about repetition, and while massedlearning was found to be boring, massed learning is also more efficient in achieving positive attitudes towards formulasand results in greater retention than spaced learning. Discussions concerning the results were subsequently held.
... The finding is consistent with previous studies in cognitive psychology Pavlik & Anderson, 2005;Seabrook et al., 2005) which confirmed the effect of spaced distribution instruction in different domains of learning. Moreover, the result also corroborates some previous studies (e.g., Miles, 2014;Rohrer & Pashler, 2007;Smolen et al., 2016) showing that the spaced distribution instruction improved foreign language learning, and specifically vocabulary learning (Goossens et al., 2012;Kornell, 2009;Sobel et al., 2011) These results are in contrast with previous studies (Collins & White, 2011;Lee & Choe, 2014;Miles, 2014;Snoder, 2017), which found no clear advantage of spaced conditions over massed conditions on immediate posttests. ...
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The current study investigates the effect of massed and spaced instruction on vocabulary recall and retention. To fulfill this objective, 75 Iranian pre-intermediate EFL learners (16 to 19 years) took part in 15 sessions of 60 minutes. The participants were randomly divided into three experimental groups; a spaced distribution group (n = 25), a massed distribution group (n = 25) and a control group (n = 25). The massed distribution group had one intensive session on learning the target vocabulary; the spaced distribution group had three sessions at irregular time intervals, and the control group received no vocabulary-focused instruction. Using a before and after design, students were retested after 5 weeks. To collect data, a receptive vocabulary test was administered as both the pretest and the posttests. The results of One-way ANOVA indicated that the spaced distribution group significantly outperformed the massed distribution group on both immediate and delayed posttests. The results propose that EFL practitioners should synthesize spacing as a beneficial teaching technique into the curricula, instruction and educational materials to promote vocabulary learning in real classroom setting.
... In similar fashion, understanding how symbolic and non-symbolic quantities and numbers are represented in the brain in conjunction with socially communicated anxieties around math learning has informed new pedagogies (Howard-Jones, 2014a). Additionally, neuroscience, psychological and educational research have converged to support the concept that spaced learning promotes retention (McClelland, McNaughton & O'Reilly, 1995;Seabrook, Brown, & Solity, 2005). Many of these ideas have been incorporated into online courses and resources that have been variably evaluated on how well they help teachers make pedagogical decisions (Society for Neuroscience, 2012;Hornby, Jackson, Jay & Howard-Jones, 2017;Annenberg Foundation, 2017). ...
Article
h i g h l i g h t s Non-science teachers learned neuroscience and used educational neuroconcepts to modify teaching lesson plans. Educational neuroconcepts offer a promising strategy to encourage student-centered teaching practices. A neurobiology model of learning offers a promising scaffold in teacher training programs. This pilot study provides a framework for future empirical studies evaluating neuroscience in teacher education. a b s t r a c t Teachers face a daunting challenge in balancing the demands of employing student-centered pedagogies in contexts where mandated testing and district teaching expectations can easily constrain or compromise their pedagogy. In this pilot study, we investigated how professional development based on the "neuroscience of learning" impacted non-science teacher understanding of basic neuroscience; and, in turn, how that knowledge impacted their reflections on pedagogy. In a pre/post design, teacher understanding of neuroscience improved significantly after the 36-h course based upon a set of educational neuroscience concepts. Furthermore, teacher revisions of their lesson plans after the course revealed the integration of more student-centered pedagogies.
... Spacing effects have been shown from very short inter-study intervals such a few seconds (e.g., ; to much larger intervals such as days or weeks (e.g., Dobson & al., (2016). Spaced learning also provides substantial improvements in long-term memory for learners in real educational settings Karpicke, Blunt, & Smith, 2016;Mettler, Massey, & Kellman, 2016;Seabrook, Brown, & Solity, 2005;Sobel, Cepeda, & Kapler, 2011). Donovan and Radosevich (1999) suggested that increasing the lag between learning episodes produced a greater spacing effect on both free recall and cued recall tasks. ...
Thesis
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L’apprentissage scolaire implique généralement une phase d’étude des cours suivie d'une phase d’évaluation pour mesurer l'efficacité de la première. Dans cette conception, la phase de test sert à quantifier la réussite de l’apprentissage mais n’est pas envisagée comme outil d’apprentissage. Pourtant, de nombreuses études ont montré l’importance des tests comme processus actif pour consolider des connaissances à long terme. Une autre pratique peu utilisée est la distribution d’un même apprentissage dans le temps. Alors que le bachotage favorise la mémorisation à court terme, l’espacement des révisions favorise la consolidation sur le long terme. A l’heure actuelle, ces méthodes sont méconnues des enseignants et des élèves alors que les bénéfices de l’entrainement par récupération en mémoire et de l’espacement ont été répliqués de manière robuste avec des populations et contenus variés. La start-up Didask a créé la plate-forme d’enseignement numérique du même nom en incorporant les résultats de ces recherches menées sur l’apprentissage. En collaboration avec Didask, ma thèse s’est articulée autour de la problématique suivante : quel est l’agencement optimal des phases de récupération en mémoire par rapport à la présentation des contenus d’un cours ? Le premier chapitre est une introduction générale pour contextualiser cette recherche. Le second chapitre compile les résultats de trois méta-analyses portant sur l’effet de l’apprentissage avec tests répétés et espacés dans le temps. La première méta-analyse a montré un bénéfice significatif de l’apprentissage avec tests espacés dans le temps sur la rétention en mémoire par rapport à l’apprentissage avec tests massés dans le temps (g = 0.74). La seconde méta-analyse suggère en revanche un bénéfice non significatif de l’apprentissage avec tests espacés par rapport à l’apprentissage avec relectures espacées dans le temps (g=0.46). La dernière méta-analyse n’a pas démontré de différence entre un planning expansif d’apprentissage avec tests espacés (accroissement progressif de l’intervalle de temps entre les sessions d’apprentissage) et un planning uniforme (maintien du même intervalle entre les sessions, g = 0.032). L’ensemble de ces résultats confirme le net avantage de l’apprentissage avec tests espacés dans le temps, mais le planning d’espacement optimal n’est pas nécessairement expansif. Les chapitres 3, 4, et 5 présentent trois expérimentations menées sur Didask. L’objectif était de mesurer les bénéfices de différents emplacements et planning de tests d’apprentissage sur la rétention en mémoire une semaine à un mois après la session d’apprentissage. Les résultats de l’Expérience 1 ont démontré qu’il est préférable de faire des tests d’apprentissage après la lecture du cours pour une meilleure mémorisation plutôt qu’avant. De plus, l’avantage de faire des tests après la lecture du cours était observé sur les informations non testées lors de l’apprentissage. Les résultats de l’Expérience 2 indiquent que le degré de granularité des contenus importe lors de l’apprentissage par relectures successives : un découpage fin permet une meilleure mémorisation qu’un découpage plus grossier. Par contre, l’importance de la granularité disparait dans la condition avec des tests d’apprentissage. Enfin, l’Expérience 3 a répliqué l’effet de récupération en mémoire mais pas l’effet d’espacement. Contrairement aux hypothèses de départ, l’effet de la combinaison des deux stratégies d’apprentissage n’était pas significatif. Néanmoins, l’apprentissage avec tests espacés permettait en moyenne une meilleure mémorisation que l’apprentissage avec tests massés, avec relectures espacées, et avec relectures massées dans le temps. Les résultats de cette thèse apportent une meilleure compréhension sur la manière d’utiliser l’apprentissage par les tests. Ils suggèrent également de nouvelles pistes de recherche sur l’optimisation des apprentissages pour promouvoir la consolidation de nouvelles connaissances.
... In the following section we examine another method for successful repetition trainingthe spacing effect. The spacing effect states that learning proceeds more rapidly when repetitions of a word are spaced over longer periods (e.g., Benjamin & Tullis, 2010;Cepeda, Vul, Rohrer, Wixted, & Pashler, 2008;Dempster, 1987;Seabrook, Brown, & Solity, 2005). Expanding the spacing between repetitions of a target L2 word or between retrieval attempts significantly improves vocabulary learning outcomes (e.g., Atkinson, 1972;Bahrick, Bahrick, Bahrick, & Bahrick, 1993;Bahrick & Hall, 2005;Cepeda et al., 2008;Kang, 2016;Pavlik & Anderson, 2005), but the optimal number of repetitions and the optimal spacing between the repetitions or sessions are the subject of ongoing inquiry. ...
Article
This review examines and integrates studies of second language (L2) vocabulary instruction with adult learners in a laboratory setting, using a framework provided by a modified version of the Revised Hierarchical Model (Kroll & Stewart, 1994), the Revised Hierarchical Model-Repetition Elaboration Retrieval. By examining how various training methods promote or fail to promote the development of high-quality orthographic, phonological, and meaning representations, and strong connections between these representations, we reconceptualize the current body of knowledge, and highlight gaps in the existing literature. We review evidence that training methods that only promote L1 to L2 form connections (e.g., massed repetition) are generally ineffective, but can become highly effective when paired with methods that also strengthen L2 form-meaning connections (e.g., spaced repetition training with retrieval practice or semantic elaboration requiring user-generated responses). We discuss the implications of these findings for researchers and educators interested in improving L2 vocabulary learning outcomes.
... Summations of research efforts conducted by cognitive and educational psychologists and learning scientists have identified principles that produce superior learning outcomes (Dunlosky, Rawson, Marsh, Nathan, & Willingham, 2013), including retrieval practice to improve retention and recall (Roediger & Karpicke, 2006) self-explanation to improve Digital Learning Skill Training for Science and Math 7 comprehension (Ainsworth & Burcham, 2007;Renkl, 2000) and the spacing of these learning strategies in order to maximize students' ability to retrieve knowledge when required (Carpenter, et al. 2005, Seabrook, Brown & Solity, 2005. Lessons that provide an overview of these strategies, the evidence for their utility in undergraduate contexts, and activities that help students understand and apply them appear in the first module of The Science of Learning to Learn. ...
... The finding is in line with prior studies in cognitive psychology (Pavlik & Anderson, 2005;Seabrook, Brown, & Solity, 2005) which confirmed the impact of spaced distribution instruction in various realms of learning. Furthermore, the outcome is additionally confirming some former studies (e.g. ...
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This study intended to investigate the effect of spaced and massed distribution instruction on vocabulary learning. To fulfil this objective, 68 Iranian pre-intermediate EFL learners (14–16 years) participated in 16 sessions. The participants were randomly divided in to two experimental groups; spaced distribution group (n = 34) and massed distribution group (n = 34). The massed distribution group had one intensive session on learning the target vocabulary; the spaced distribution group had three sessions at irregular time intervals. Using a before and after design, students were retested after 8 weeks. To collect data, a vocabulary test was performed as the pretest and posttest. The results of the paired samples t test and One-way ANCOVA indicated that the spaced distribution group significantly outperformed the massed distribution group on the posttest (effect size .75). The results propose that EFL practitioners can synthesize spacing as a beneficial teaching technique into the curricula and educational materials to promote vocabulary learning.
... In the latter, messages are repeated in different learning classes or sessions (Lowenstein, Foord, and Romano 2009). Spaced repetitions are successful in improving memory (Seabrook, Brown, and Solity 2005). In the present study, spaced repetitions were done at 3 or 6 months intervals. ...
Article
The aim of the study was to compare the effectiveness of three modes of school dental health education (SDHE) and the two frequencies of reinforcements, on the oral health status of children. Three hundred and sixty school children aged 8 to 9 years participated in this study. Dental caries (dft/DMFT), oral hygiene (OHI-S) and oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) scores were recorded by a calibrated investigator. The interventions included three different modes of SDHE (drama, game and flashcards). One mode of SDHE was randomly allotted to each school. Children were randomly sub-divided based on the frequency of reinforcement provided (3 months and 6 months). Post-intervention data were collected after 2 years. There was a significant reduction in the dft [drama (p = 0.006), game (p = 0.001) and flashcards (p = 0.002)] and OHI-S scores [drama and game (p < 0.001) and flashcards (p = 0.01)] and significant improvement in the total OHRQoL scores [drama (p = 0.001), game (p = 0.016) and flashcards (p = 0.023)] in all the three modes. Children who received game mode SDHE every 3 months had a significantly higher number of filled primary teeth (p = 0.03) compared to children who received the reinforcement every 6 months. All three modes were effective in improving the oral health status of school children. Game mode had the highest impact followed by drama and flashcard modes. Reinforcements given every 3 months using the game mode had a positive influence on the oral health of these children. Health educators must focus on child-friendly modes to make the health information more retentive.
... Distributed learning or spaced learning which stem from the psychology and neuroscience literature, where two or more study periods are separated in time by an inter-study interval, has been hypothesized to have a greater impact on learning outcomes than block learning (Rea & Modigliani, 1985, 1987Seabrook, Gordon, Brown, & Solity, 2005;Solity & Vousden, 2009). This underpins the delivery structure of the vocabulary program where students engage in the program for 15−20 min 3-5 times weekly. ...
Article
This paper presents the research protocol for an efficacy randomized controlled trial of a vocabulary program in primary schools. The program is a workforce development program that supports teachers and teaching assistants develop and deliver targeted vocabulary instruction to children aged 7–10. The protocol outlines a research design to assess whether the program delivered over approximately 20 weeks improves reading outcomes, in a sample of 101 children from 7 schools in three English districts with high socio-economic disadvantage. The outcome measure is a reading standardized test. A process evaluation will measure fidelity and potential for scale-up.
... In an actual language intervention, the clinician would not only increase the quantity of exposures but also their quality. For example, exposures that allow for encoding across modalities visual, auditory, and kinesthetic modalities (Jewitt, Kress, Ogborn, & Charalampos, 2001;Valenzeno, Alibali, & Klatzky, 2003) are useful and spaced exposures are more helpful than massed exposures (e.g., Seabrook, Brown, & Solity, 2005). Second, activities that highlight word forms may be indicated. ...
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Previous investigations of word learning problems among people with developmental language disorder suggest that encoding, not retention, is the primary deficit. We aimed to replicate this finding; test the prediction that word form, not the linking of form to referent, is particularly problematic; and determine whether women with developmental language disorder are better word learners than men with developmental language disorder.
... To explicate the interleaving advantage for category induction, two theoretical accounts may be considered. One possibility is that the benefits of interleaving are due to the spacing effect, in which recall is enhanced for information that is repeated spaced apart rather than back to back (e.g., Birnbaum et al., 2013;Cepeda et al., 2006;Dempster, 1996;Seabrook et al., 2005;Vlach et al., 2008). Presumably, spacing aids learning because learners' effortful retrieval of information from memory each time it reoccurs after a time interval promotes deeper processing Pyc & Rawson, 2009), such that increasing the amount of spacing between exemplars improves category learning (Birnbaum et al., 2013). ...
Article
The ability to recognize and distinguish among varying musical styles is essential to developing aural skills and musicianship. Yet, this task can be difficult for music learners, particularly nonexperts. To address this challenge and guide music education practice, this study drew on cognitive psychological principles to investigate the effect of interleaved presentation of music pieces by various classical music composers on learning to identify these composers’ styles. Participants with 4 or fewer years of musical experience were presented with music pieces from six composers in an interleaved manner (alternating between listening to different composers’ works) and music pieces from another six composers in a blocked fashion (listening to works by one composer at a time before moving on to the next). A later test in which participants had to classify novel pieces by the same 12 composers revealed the superiority of interleaved over blocked presentation, although most participants misjudged blocking to be more effective than interleaving. This finding provides evidence for the utility of interleaving in teaching music composers’ styles and extends the literature on the interleaving effect in category induction to the auditory domain. Practical implications and future directions for the use of interleaving in music education are discussed.
... intervention sessions with the Spring Term. Futhermore, this fits the notion of distributed practice, which has demonstrated benefits for retention of information (Seabrook, Brown, & Solity, 2005). The number of sessions was negotiated with the school, and the decision to deliver the intervention twice each week was based on feasibility considerations, such as timetabling and availability of staffing. ...
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Aim: This research aimed to explore the impact of school-based Lego Therapy groups for adolescents with a diagnosis of ASD in mainstream schools. Method/Rationale: School staff were trained in the delivery of the social skills intervention to groups comprising one adolescent with ASD and two typically developing peers. A non-concurrent multiple baseline across participants design was employed to examine the impact of the intervention for six adolescent males with ASD. Findings: Visual analysis, PAND effect sizes and Tau-U statistical analyses demonstrated the large positive impact of the intervention on duration of social engagement and frequency of social initiations, responses and positive social behaviours for five out of six participants. The final participant withdrew from the research. Parents and teachers saw some evidence of generalisation of skill to home and other aspects of school life but this was not consistent for all participants. Fidelity of implementation was maintained, suggesting the approach is appropriate for delivery in school settings by school staff. Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that Lego Therapy groups can be an effective school-based social skills intervention for adolescents with ASD. Limitations: This research was limited by the small sample size. Future research should extend the evidence-base of Lego-based social skill groups, examining the impact of the intervention for a wider range of students with differing needs.
... However, in order to provide learners and teachers with recommendations concerning optimal learning strategies, individual differences need to be addressed. We assumed that learners with a poorer working memory capacity might be over-challenged by distributed practice because they may stronger be affected by interferences that might occur between the practice sessions and, therewith, face more problems to maintain the primary task goals (Bui et al., 2013; but see Seabrook et al., 2005;Delaney et al., 2018). Furthermore, in line with deficient processing accounts (e.g., Craik and Lockhart, 1972), we expected participants with difficulties to concentrate on longer tasks to benefit especially from distributed practice because here, the duration of the single learning sessions is shorter and puts less demands on (longer-term) concentration. ...
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We investigated the effect of distributed practice and more specifically the “lag effect” concerning the retention of mathematical procedures. The lag effect implies that longer retention intervals benefit from longer inter-study intervals (ISIs). University students (N = 235) first learned how to solve permutation tasks and then practiced this procedure with an ISI of zero (i.e., massed), one, or 11 days. The final test took place after one or five weeks. All conditions were manipulated between-subjects. Contrary to our expectations, the analyses revealed no effect of distributed practice and therewith also no lag effect, even though the sample size was sufficiently large. The only significant effect was that test performance was poorer after 5 weeks than after 1 week. In view of the present results and those of other studies, we assume that distributed practice works differently for declarative and procedural knowledge, with less robust of even absent effects when procedural skills are practiced with ISIs compared to massed practice.
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Depois de apresentar alguns dos principais argumentos contra certas concepções restritivas de prática para a aprendizagem de uma segunda língua, este artigo reforça a validade de entender o conceito de prática de uma maneira mais ampla, ainda focada na forma, ou até mesmo nas formas, mas com a devida atenção para a relação entre forma e significado, bem como para uma sequência adequada de atividades que assegurem a aquisição do conhecimento declarativo, primeiramente, seguido da sua procedimentalização e automatização (pelo menos parcial). É feita uma breve síntese de atividades que se enquadram nesse conceito, assim como são dadas algumas recomendações para a sua adaptação às diferenças individuais dos alunos e às de grupo.
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The spacing effect refers to the learning benefit that comes from separating repeated study of target items by time or by other items. A prominent proposed explanation for this effect states that repeated exposures that occur closely together may not engage full attentional processing due to residual activation of the previous exposure and also, in an intentional learning context, due to a sense of familiarity that may result in strategic allocation of less study time to an item in massed repetitions. The present study used eye-tracking methodology to investigate the effects of temporal distribution of repeated exposures to novel second language words on attentional processing and learning of these words under intentional learning instructions. Adult native speakers of English read Finnish words embedded in English sentence contexts under massed and spaced conditions. The results showed that (a) massed repeated exposures received less attentional processing than spaced repeated exposures; (b) target words were better remembered in the spaced condition; and (c) attention was a significant mediator of the obtained spacing effect, in line with the predictions of the deficient processing account of the spacing effect. Implications for vocabulary learning are discussed.
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This article focuses on the construction of a semantic field in some activities related to the teaching of additional languages through technologies in times of social isolation in the United Kingdom. Semantic field is understood as being one of the variables of the context of situation, defined by Halliday’s Systemic-Functional Linguistics (1978), responsible for the construction of the experience of the world around us and the world created in our consciousness as a result of the social practices we have experienced. The aim of this study is to analyse how the semantic field is constructed through thematic units that aim to teach the syllabus established for compulsory education in the United Kingdom. The article presents some tasks and discusses their purposes and functionality in online activities in remote education and highlights the importance of “spaced practice” as a way to help learners with the construction of linguistic knowledge in terms of vocabulary, linguistic structures, and cultural aspects that come into play within the semantic field.
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When determining whether or not children have a difficulty in learning, the quality of instruction they have received during their school career must be excluded as a possible explanation for their lack of progress. To this end, educational psychologists (EPs) have for some time adopted a model of response to intervention known as assessment-through-teaching (ATT). This article describes an ATT intervention with three low achieving Year 4 students within a single primary school in the UK. Learning outcomes were monitored during a six-week half-term and views of both students and teachers on the intervention were investigated. The intervention group improved their performance in reading accuracy compared to the comparison group, whereas both groups performed less well on post-intervention scores of reading comprehension and motivation, although the decline in the performance of the intervention group was less than the comparison group. Both teacher and student views were positive about the intervention.
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Material re-exposure (e.g., re-reading) is a popular mnemonic strategy, however, its utility has been questioned. We extend research on re-reading to re-watching - an emerging mnemonic technique given the increased use of recorded lectures today (e.g., in online courses). Consistent with findings from recent investigations of re-reading, there were no benefits of massed re-watching on memory for lecture material and re-watching increased rates of mind wandering. We discuss implications for understanding the cognitive consequences of re-exposure-based mnemonics.
Thesis
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This thesis comprises several chapters on the relation between aspects of the curriculum and students’ knowledge development and skill acquisition at different levels, ranging from the effect of feedback characteristics to the effect of massed or spaced curricula. The main research question of this thesis is: How do aspects of the curriculum relate to students’ knowledge development and skill acquisition? To answer our research questions and because of the complexity of studying aspects of the curriculum, we used different methodologies. In Chapter 2 and 3 the relation between curriculum characteristics and knowledge development was explored. In order to do so we choose oncologic knowledge since many medical disciplines are represented in this topic. In Chapter 2, students’ knowledge development was explored by analyzing data from the Dutch progress test on 1440 medical students of four undergraduate medical schools. To better understand the differences between the curricula, the four oncology curriculum coordinators were interviewed. Students’ knowledge development was compared using mixed model analysis. The results demonstrated that two curriculum characteristics seem to have a positive impact on students’ knowledge development: the presence of a pre-internship course and concentration of the discipline in one semester. Although it seems that these two characteristics benefit students’ knowledge development, this study was exploratory and, therefore, implications based on the results do not presuppose causality. In Chapter 3, the findings of Chapter 2 were investigated in more depth and in a more controlled environment, although the study was still conducted in a naturalistic setting. For this purpose, the development of students’ knowledge of oncology in one medical school was compared between students who were taught in a concentrated semester and students who were taught in a spaced format. The medical school offers a six-year medical training; the first three years are predominantly preclinical and the last years predominately clinical. Comparing these two parallel cohorts decreased the number of confounders, since the context (within the same university), teachers, teaching methods and assessment were similar in both cohorts. The results showed that at the beginning of preclinical training, students in the spaced curriculum scored higher and at the end of preclinical training, students in the spaced curriculum scored lower than students in the concentrated semester. The results of Chapter 2 and 3 suggest that students’ knowledge development may be related to the way the content is presented over time: distributed over a longer period or concentrated in one semester. In Chapter 4 and 5 the relation between assessment characteristics and knowledge development was investigated. Medical students do not only acquire knowledge, but they are also expected to apply knowledge and reflect on it. In Chapter 4, the development of students’ ability to apply their knowledge and their judgment of knowledge were investigated. Since we were interested in students’ scores on lower and higher order questions during their preclinical and clinical training, progress test data from the beginning and end of their preclinical or clinical training were analyzed. To investigate students’ cognitive processing development, specific assessment characteristics were used, based on Bloom’s taxonomy: lower-order questions requiring students to only recall their knowledge and higher-order requiring students to apply their knowledge. To investigate the educational aspect of the judgment of knowledge, the question mark option in successive progress tests was used. Subsequently, the growth in students’ ability to apply and judge their knowledge was compared in the preclinical and clinical phase. Whereas preclinical (Year 1 and 3) and Year 4 students scored lower on vignette questions (higher order), the Year 6 students scored higher on vignette questions than on simple questions (lower order). Students’ judgement of knowledge decreased over time for both cohorts, possibly indicating that the question mark option does not support students’ judgment of knowledge development. In addition to investigating the educational aspect of judgement of knowledge (Chapter 4), it is important to verify the effect of adding the “question mark option” as an assessment characteristic on students’ scores. In Chapter 5, the psychometric properties of two scoring methods, a number-right scoring and the formula scoring (with “question mark option”), were compared. More specifically, we investigated whether the question mark option as an assessment characteristic provides less dysfunctional items and a more reliable score in a 2x2 crossover design. The majority of dysfunctional items was found in the formula scoring test condition. Furthermore, the reliability for the tests using number-right scoring were higher than for formula scoring. Chapter 4 and 5 suggest that adding the question mark option as an assessment characteristic may not be optimal for two reasons. First, as students progress, more questions were guessed and answered incorrectly. Second, the addition of the question mark decreases the reliability of the test and increase the number of dysfunctional items. In Chapter 6 and 7 the relation between curriculum characteristics and skill acquisition was investigated. During medical training, medical students do not only acquire knowledge, but also skills. Students should have the opportunity to practice and receive feedback during their skill acquisition and retention. Without practice and feedback, learning a new technical skill would be very challenging. Trainees may practice either in one session, known as massed training, or in multiple sessions spread over time, known as spaced training. In Chapter 6 a systematic review was conducted to investigate the effect of spacing training sessions on long-term retention of surgical skills. The Medline, PsycINFO, Embase, Eric and Web of Science online databases were searched. Only randomized trials with a sample of medical trainees acquiring surgical motor skills in which the spacing effect was reported were included in the study. The quality and bias of the articles were assessed using the Cochrane Collaboration’s risk of bias assessment tool. 11 articles met all inclusion criteria and were included. The overall quality of the articles was “moderate”. Students in the spaced condition scored higher on a retention test than students in the massed condition. Although the optimal gap between study sessions remains unclear, our systematic review suggests that when designing a technical skill training, spacing the training sessions improves students’ skill retention when compared to massed practice. In Chapter 7 a randomized experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of expert and augmented feedback on the acquisition and retention of a complex medical skill. 36 medical students were randomly assigned to one of three types of feedback: expert feedback only (EF), augmented visual feedback (simulator help screen) (HS), and expert feedback with augmented visual feedback (EF+HS). Immediately after the training, students in the EF group were faster than students in the two other groups. After 11 days, students in the EF+HS group scored significantly higher for image quality than students in the two other groups. This thesis has demonstrated that there is a relation between a few aspects of the curriculum and knowledge development and skill acquisition. Furthermore, this thesis has shown how and when the spacing effect may benefit students’ knowledge development and skill acquisition, how the “I don’t know” option affects students’ scores and, finally, that different sources of feedback are needed to enhance students’ skill acquisition and retention.
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The Cambridge Handbook of Cognition and Education - edited by John Dunlosky February 2019
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Cambridge Core - Cognition - The Cambridge Handbook of Cognition and Education - edited by John Dunlosky
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This paper: (1) briefly outlines a study tips presentation that uses both evidence from the cognitive psychology literature as well as demonstrations to teach students how to study more effectively, and (2) provides empirical evidence about whether this study tips presentation affects students’ study habits. We provide an overview of the presentation, a handout that summarizes the tips, and a reference list rich with sources that support the efficacy of these study approaches. We also summarize a study we conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the presentation. Thirty-two students completed a questionnaire about their typical study strategies before and three months following the presentation. Additionally, 102 students who did not attend the presentation (control group) completed the study strategies survey, and their responses were compared to those from 74 students who had attended the presentation sometime between 3 months and 3 years and 3 months earlier. Finally, the 74 presentation attendees rated their memory for, utilization of, and perceived influence of the eight study tips. Results support the efficacy of the “Study Smarter, Not Harder” presentation as a way to improve students’ understanding and utilization of effective study approaches.
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This article reports on a study that examined the effectiveness of an intervention using text messages to enhance the academic vocabulary acquisition of English language learners (ELLs). With a random control trial design, we compared students' learning gain of target vocabulary (direct effect) and its subsequent impact on academic vocabulary learning (transfer effect) with and without the intervention treatment. The study included 108 undergraduate ELLs in a large Canadian university in Ontario. The intervention was aligned with the lesson plans of two comparable content-based courses on English for academic purposes required for the ELLs and aimed at teaching frequently used academic words embedded within the assigned course readings. The results indicated that, with the intervention, students learned significantly more target words. However, there was no difference between the treatment and control groups on academic vocabulary post-test performance measuring the transfer effect. The pedagogical implication of the findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.
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This article explores the ‘reading wars’ from the perspective of instructional psychology, which focuses on the environmental and instructional factors that facilitate students’ progress in learning to read. It draws on research (computational analysis and classroom-based experimental studies) to inform a novel intervention that teaches reading through systematic synthetic phonics and real books, rather than the more traditional phonically decodable reading schemes. The article discusses: (1) the criteria that inform curriculum design, (2) the instructional principles that underpin effective teaching, (3) teaching methodology, (4) an instructional analysis that explains why students are perceived to have difficulties in learning to read, and (5) the implications of instructional psychology for educational psychologists.
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An advantage has been found for acquiring textbook knowledge by studying textbook summaries rather than reading the original prose (Reder & Anderson, 1980). Three studies are presented that help to establish the cause of the summary advantage. One possible cause is that reading summaries allows the subject to reread the main points at spaced intervals, and spaced practice is superior to massed practice. A second possible cause is that the presence of details distracts the subject’s attention away from the critical ideas that should be attended to. In Reder and Anderson (1980), these two factors were confounded, but they are unconfounded in the present studies. The results indicate that both possible causes, spaced practice and the absence of details, have significant, independent, and positive effects on retention of the central ideas of a passage.
Article
This article argues that children identified as having special educational needs in mainstream school fail to meet set targets because special education is neither 'special' nor 'educational'. Special education has failed to establish, through classroom-based research, the most effective ways of teaching children perceived to have learning difficulties. Instead, it focuses on resources, provision and administrative procedures and does not require any evidence that these factors enable children to bridge the gap in attainments which exists with their peers. In part, all those working in the education system collude with this scenario through assuming that children's failure to progress results from a difficulty in learning rather than from what or how they have been taught. This article argues that the process of psychological assessment should start from the premise that all children can learn and reach age and skill appropriate targets in literacy and numeracy. The issues discussed are related to teaching literacy, given the number of children perceived to have special educational needs arising from their lack of progress in learning to read. A framework for teaching lower achieving pupils is introduced which is based on the Early Reading Research (ERR), a collaborative project between the University of Warwick and Essex LEA. The ERR is summarised and its implications for raising attainments discussed.
Article
Memory for repeated items on a list improves as a function of the spacing between repetitions. It is shown that spacing effects are eliminated in relative frequency discrimination, absolute frequency estimation, and recognition when items are learned incidentally. Spacing effects in free recall are unaffected by intentionality of learning. The results suggest that spacing effects in tasks in which experimenter-supplied retrieval cues are available are due to a rehearsal strategy that allots fewer rehearsals to items repeated in massed fashion. Spacing effects in free recall are due to a separate process resulting from study-phase retrieval of repeated items.
Article
The spacing effect would appear to have considerable potential for improving classroom learning, yet there is no evidence of its widespread application. I consider nine possible impediments to the implementation of research findings in the classroom in an effort to determine which, if any, apply to the spacing effect. I conclude that the apparent absence of systematic application may be due, in part, to the ahistorical character of research on the spacing effect and certain gaps in our understanding of both the spacing effect and classroom practice. However, because none of these concerns seems especially discouraging, and in view of what we do know about the spacing effect, classroom application is recommended.
Article
Preschool and second-grade children studied a list of either pictures or their corresponding labels (words) and, 48 h later, received a yes/no recognition test involving either the same or the opposite type of stimuli. Some items on the study list were presented twice, with repetitions either massed or distributed (spaced). The results indicated that, when both study and test stimuli were pictures, the children’s recognition was better than when study and/or test stimuli were words. The children also recognized distributed repetitions better than massed repetitions (a spacing effect). However, the spacing effect was not altered by the type of stimuli presented for study and/or test. The results suggest that the spacing effect is mediated by a semantic representation and that, under these circumstances, it is produced by relatively automatic processes.
Article
Spacing between two attempts to learn one item greatly increases the probability that it will be remembered later. We first note that a number of theories that explain this phenomenon also predict that spacing should improve the probability of remembering at least one of two different items each studied once. We then report results of two experiments designed to test this prediction. Subjects studied a series of 300 words. After a short rest they were tested for recognition, or—in the second experiment—free recall and then recognition. As usual a substantial spacing effect was observed for single words presented twice. In contrast the probability of correct recognition or recall of at least one word of a pair of two different words, each presented once, did not depend on their spacing in the study series.
Article
Two experiments examined the effect of spacing repetitions within a word list on the free recall performance of elementary school children. In the first experiment, spacing repetitions facilitated recall, and the function relating recall of repeated items to the spacing between repetitions was the same throughout the age range investigated (first, third, and sixth graders). But, the function for these elementary school children reached asymptote at a much shorter spacing than the function typically reported for adults. The second experiment was designed to test an encoding variability explanation of spaced-repetition effects in elementary school children. Results for both third- and sixth-grade children were consistent with the hypothesis that differential encoding of repetitions facilitates performance and that spaced repetitions are remembered better because they are more likely to be differentially encoded. A theoretical framework was discussed that may be able to encompass both these results and another finding in the literature which indicates that differential encoding can sometimes impair rather than facilitate children's memory performance.
Article
I examined the applicability of the encoding variability hypothesis and the spacing phenomenon to vocabulary learning in five experiments. I manipulated encoding variability by varying the number of potential retrieval routes to the word meanings, using a one-sentence context condition, a three-sentence context condition, and a no-context (definitions-only) control condition. I evaluated the spacing effect by presenting each word with or without intervening words. The results provided no evidence that the opportunity to establish multiple retrieval routes by means of contextual information is helpful to vocabulary learning, a conclusion supported unequivocally by all five experiments. By contrast, spaced presentations yielded substantially higher levels of learning than did massed presentations. I discuss the results largely in terms of educational concerns, including the utility of the learning-from-context approach to vocabulary learning. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
[discusses] the most effective ways of distributing and managing the conditions of encoding and practice / research suggests that the effectiveness of repetition depends on a number of factors, including the time interval between repetitions, the frequency of repetitions, and even the form of the repetition / a review provides an additional encoding opportunity, whereas a test provides retrieval practice / concluded that the effects of spaced practice, in particular, provide important insights into the basic mechanisms of learning and memory encoding practice / retrieval practice / theoretical implications [spacing effects, testing effects] / educational implications (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
F. N. Dempster's (see record 1989-03118-001) recommendation that distributed practice be implemented in the classroom fails to consider such impediments as costs and effects on educators' quality of work life. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
In 2 experiments, preschoolers exhibited a spacing effect in free recall of both pictures and words, even though procedures were very similar to those used in T. C. Toppino and W. DiGeorge's (see record 1985-06329-001) experiment, in which preschoolers had not manifested a spacing effect. Exp 1 consisted of 30 preschoolers (aged 41–62 mo); Exp 2 consisted of 48 preschoolers (aged 47–59 mo). The experimental design was a 2 × 3 (stimulus type × repetition/spacing) mixed factorial, with the last factor manipulated within Ss. Depending on stimulus type, either words or pictures were used as stimuli. The repetition/spacing factor consisted of once-presented items and twice-presented items receiving either massed presentations or distributed presentations. Results indicate support that preschool children typically exhibit a spacing effect in free recall. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
In the reported experiments, the spacing of repetitions improved performance on cued-memory tests (a frequency judgment test and graphemic cued-recall test) when items were studied in an intentional or an incidental-semantic condition but not in an incidental-graphemic study condition. The results imply that spacing effects on cued tests depend on level of processing carried out on the stimuli rather than on intentionality of learning per se, as suggested by R. L. Greene (1989, 1990). The findings undermine a voluntary rehearsal account of spacing effects in cued tests. Alternative accounts are discussed, including the view that involuntary processes akin to semantic (or lexical) priming play a critical role in spacing effects on cued-memory tests. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Memory for repeated items on a list improves as a function of the spacing between repetitions. It is shown that spacing effects are eliminated in relative frequency discrimination, absolute frequency estimation, and recognition when items are learned incidentally. Spacing effects in free recall are unaffected by intentionality of learning. The results suggest that spacing effects in tasks in which experimenter-supplied retrieval cues are available are due to a rehearsal strategy that allots fewer rehearsals to items repeated in massed fashion. Spacing effects in free recall are due to a separate process resulting from study-phase retrieval of repeated items. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The spacing effect would appear to have considerable potential for improving classroom learning, yet there is no evidence of its widespread application. I consider nine possible impediments to the implementation of research findings in the classroom in an effort to determine which, if any, apply to the spacing effect. I conclude that the apparent absence of systematic application may be due, in part, to the ahistorical character of research on the spacing effect and certain gaps in our understanding of both the spacing effect and classroom practice. However, because none of these concerns seems especially discouraging, and in view of what we do know about the spacing effect, classroom application is recommended. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
To test the hypothesis that expanded practice is superior to massed practice in a classroom situation, a test series with expanded intervals to teach multiplication facts and spelling lists to 44 Grade 3 students, formed into massed and expanded groups based on their spelling and mathematical abilities, was conducted. Results show that, for multiplication facts, retention in the expanded series condition was almost twice that in the massed series condition; for spelling lists, a significant difference in the same direction was also obtained. These differences were obtained regardless of the level of ability of the Ss. It is suggested that an expanded test series not only engenders effective retention but also maintains a feeling of success throughout and that use of this type of series would therefore have obvious benefit if incorporated into remedial programs or used in learning centers. (23 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The spacing effect refers to the advantage in memory for information that is repeated at separated points of time over information repeated in massed fashion. Spacing effects have been demonstrated on numerous explicit measures of memory. A series of experiments reported here demonstrate spacing effects on 3 implicit memory measures: (1) spelling of homophonic words, (2) word-fragment completion, and (3) perceptual identification. The spacing effect in perceptual identification was not found when materials were studied incidentally or when spacing was manipulated between lists. Also, whereas recognition of synonyms decreased as a function of spacing between synonyms, perceptual identification was uninfluenced by the spacing between synonyms. The results are interpreted as evidence that spacing effects on cued memory tests (both explicit and implicit) reflect optional rehearsal strategies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
2 experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of (a) amount of S-R repetition and (b) the spacing of periodic review sequences upon retention of academic materials taught to junior-high-school Ss by programed instruction methods. Repetition was varied by constructing programed sequences which contained 3 different levels of stimulus and response repetitions for each of a number of scientific terms being taught. Spaced review consisted of presenting review frames of previously learned materials after Ss had received other interpolated learning tasks. Results indicated that variations in repetition had only transitory effects upon retention, but that spaced review produced a significant facilitation in retention of the reviewed material. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Tested a 2-process theory of the spacing effect in free recall in 4 experiments with a total of 216 college students and paid Ss. The 1st process, differential organization, produces a positive correlation between the spacing of the presentations of repeated words and the number of different retrieval routes that can provide access to the words. The retrieval process interacts with the differential organization to control performance. If the cues used to retrieve the words provide approximately equal access to all retrieval routes, then the function relating spacing to recall will increase monotonically. If only selected retrieval routes are used, then the spacing function will be nonmonotonic. Results supporting this theory are that (a) the monotonic spacing function was most robust when Ss studied the list using an organizational strategy, (b) cuing and directing retrieval with input words resulted in a nonmonotonic effect of spacing when Ss had used an organizational strategy, and (c) directing retrieval by instructions about the order of recall resulted in a nonmonotonic effect of spacing. (22 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Findings from a longitudinal study designed to investigate phonological working memory skills in preschool children are reported. Two phonological memory tests, digit span and nonword repetition, were given to a large cohort of children at 3,4 and 5 years of age. The majority of children at all ages cooperated on both tests even at 3 years of age, indicating that the tasks are in principle suitable for use with young children. Individual differences in nonword repetition scores at 3 years were highly stable across the following two-year period; there was, however, less stability in differences in the children's digit span scores across the same period. It is concluded that phonological memory skills can be reliably assessed in children as young as 3 years, and that the nonword repetition paradigm is highly suitable for this purpose.
Article
Infants of 5–6 months of age were tested for recognition of briefly presented photographs of faces. The interaction typically obtained with adults, a beneficial effect on retention due to the temporal spacing of study, was obtained with these infants. The results suggest that the distribution effect reflects a fundamental and automatic process of human memory.
Article
Spacing repetitions generally facilitates memory for the repeated events. This article describes a theory of spacing effects that uses the same principles to account for both facilitatory and inhibitory effects of spacing in a number of memory paradigms. Increasing the spacing between repetitions is assumed to result in the storage of greater amounts of information of three types or levels: contextual, structural (associative), and descriptive. Contextual information is encoded automatically, while the encoding of the structural and descriptive information depends on control processes utilized. Remembering involves accessing the stored information using retrieval cues containing information on any level that matches the stored information. The ultimate effectiveness of the spacing is controlled by this matching between the retrieval cues and the stored information. Previous experiments demonstrating the operation of these principles on the structural and descriptive levels are reviewed. Three new experiments are reported that illustrate interactions between stored information and retrieval cues based on contextual information.
Article
The revival of interest in the effectiveness of spaced practice, as compared with massed practice, in learning is attributed to the abandonment of the constraints of serial and paired-associate list learning and the discovery of stable benefits from spaced practice in continuous paired-associate learning, short-term memory for individual items, and single-trial free-recall learning. Comments are made about the preceding symposium papers by Underwood, Waugh, and Greeno, and some data on the differential effects of spacing of repetitions in free-recall learning are introduced in an effort to assess the current state of fact and theory.
Article
A differential encoding hypothesis for the lag effect in free recall was tested developmentally. Fourth- and eighth-grade children and college adults were shown a list of words, with some repeated at various lag intervals. Lag functions in repeated word recall were found to vary with age. An encoding hypothesis, modified to provide specificity for the time at which differential encoding takes place, was used to account for the results. Finally, it was suggested that the lag paradigm could be utilized to assess developmental differences in processing strategies, as perhaps a more sensitive, and general, alternative to the overt rehearsal technique.
Article
In Experiment 1, preschoolers, first graders, and third graders were presented a list of pictures that included twice-presented items separated by varying numbers of intervening items. Performance on a subsequent recognition test improved as the spacing between repetitions increased, but the effect of spacing did not interact reliably with grade level. In Experiment 2a, we replicated the spaced-repetition effect in young children and found a similar effect in college students. In Experiment 2b, we varied the conditions under which lists were presented to college students and again found a spacing function that was comparable to that of very young children. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that spaced-repetition effects in recognition are produced by fundamental memory mechanisms that are operational at a very early age and which undergo little change with development.
Article
The effect of spacing repetitions on children's free recall was investigated in two experiments. In Experiment 1, both 4-year-old children and 7-year-old children exhibited a spacing effect in free recall, and the magnitude of the effect did not change with age. In Experiment 2, free recall was examined as a function of spacing, age (3 years old vs. 4 years old) and presentation rate (1 vs. 2 vs. 5 sec per stimulus). A spacing effect was obtained that did not differ as a function of age or presentation rate. Of particular interest was the fact that 3-year-olds exhibited a strong spacing effect even when stimuli were presented at a very rapid 1-sec rate. The results support the hypothesis that fundamental memory mechanisms that operate relatively automatically are sufficient to produce a spacing effect in free recall.
Article
Experiment 1 of the current research failed to replicate Toppino and Di George’s (1984) finding that older children but not preschoolers showed a spacing effect. Instead, we obtained the spacing effect in all the age groups tested (preschool, kindergarten, first-grade, and third-grade children). The effect was demonstrated with two types of material, words and pictures. Experiment 2 focused on the role that very brief spacings, with no intervening items between repetitions, play in later retention. Age groups and materials were the same as in Experiment 1. Four different levels of spacing were included (0-, 1.1-,2.5-, and 5-sec intervals). The spacing effect was again obtained for all age groups with both words and pictures. The results of both experiments suggest that the spacing effect does not emerge with development.