It’s never too early to start with… practice testing!

3-Star learning experiences

Paul A. Kirschner & Mirjam Neelen

Let’s begin with our possibly naive assumption that just about everyone would be a fan of easy-to-use but highly effective learning and study strategies. One example of such a strategy is practice testing, aka retrieval practice. In a nutshell, practice testing ‘forces’ learners to recall what they’ve previously learned from memory. Because they actively remember that information – retrieve it from their memory – they can remember it better and longer. There has been a huge amount of research done on this and we know that practice testing is one of the most effective learning/study strategies we know. Soderstrom and Bjork (2015) let us know that “decades of research suggests that the retrieval processes triggered by testing actually changes the retrieved information in important ways” (p 185).

In general, opponents of this strategy in particular, and of research into evidence-informed strategies in general, often…

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