How retrieval practice works part 1

Evidence for Educators

You’re right to be interested in retrieval practice.

Retrieval practice is the use of low-stakes testing (written/verbal questions) to benefit pupils’ long-term memories (McDaniel at al., 2007). It’s more effective than non-testing methods like re-reading.

Used in conjunction with other effective teaching methods, retrieval practice has the potential to be a powerful tool for teachers.

The value of retrieval has been known for over a century (Myers, 1914).

Positive evidence can be seen –

  • In educational settings (Yang et al., 2021).
  • With college and university-aged pupils (Foss & Pirozzolo, 2017; Thomas et al., 2020).
  • With school-aged pupils (Marsh et al., 2012; McDaniel et al, 2011; Rowley & McCrudden, 2020).
  • With pre-school children (Fritz et al., 2007).
  • Using various materials (Carpenter, 2009; Roediger & Karpicke, 2006; Carpenter & Pashler, 2007).
  • Using various test types (Yang et al, 2021).


Retrieval practice research with real teachers…

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