Applied Cognitive Psychology

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Volume 33 Issue 5 (September 2019), Pages 729-979

Putting evidence‐based claims to the test: A multi‐site classroom study of retrieval practice and spaced practice (pages 732-743)

Summary Retrieval practice and spacing out studying help increase learning. Introductory Psychology students at nine colleges/universities took quizzes with more (RP+) or less (RP−) retrieval practice and more (SP+) or less (SP−) spacing between quizzes. We compared (N = 351) scores on class exams and on a standardized test. We also measured key student variables (e.g., depth of processing). GPA predicted a significant portion of variance in exam scores, R2 = 0.05, F(1, 204) = 10.84, p = 0.001. We found a main effect for retrieval practice and a significant retrieval by spacing practice interaction, R2 = 0.28, F(3, 201) = 27.38, p < 0.001. Students using SP+, as well as those with SP− and RP−, scored higher than students using SP− and RP+. In practice, closer attention needs to be paid to quiz and exam content overlap and the duration within which repetition is used.

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