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Retrieval Practice: Research & Resources for every classroom: Resources and research for every classroom

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Instead, what we are trying to do is deliberately interrupt the forgetting curve. It is better to think of this regular quizzing as a student learning event in itself, as opposed to an assessment. This retrieval practice grid doesn’t include multiple choice options. This is because, according to Professor John Dunlosky, “students will benefit most from tests that require recall from memory and not from tests that merely ask them to recognise the correct answer”. How to use the grids When I first began using test-enhanced learning I made a few mistakes that reduced the effectiveness of retrieval practice.

You can probably understand this article very easily, but if you sat a test on it next week would you remember all, or even most, of its details? Probably not. In this episode of The Cult of Pedagogy podcast, Jennifer Gonzalez speaks to Pooja Agarwal about what retrieval practice is and how you can start incorporating it into your classroom right away. Writing good multiple-choice questions is devilishly difficult. Ours focus on the most important things we want children to remember from previous lessons.Learners can select the correct answer from memory (higher challenge). Alternatively, you can scaffold the activity by making it multiple choice.

But what if you did put in that effort, and it worked out? What if you persevered through that short-term pain and feeling of frustration? Imagine you really committed yourself to retrieval practice, and were duly rewarded in a test.

What is retrieval practice?

In the example about Roman Britain above, we would include the correct answer (Romulus), but then also add in plausible distractors. These would include Remus, Julius Caesar and Tiberinus (the god who saved Romulus and Remus from the river). In this session, Kate Jones, author of Love To Teach, Retrieval Practice and Retrieval Practice 2 will be sharing the research behind this effective teaching and learning strategy as well as top tips as to how this can be implemented in the classroom. This will cover a combination of evidence and experience, both of which Kate believes need to be combined to successfully implement and embed retrieval practice in the classroom. Kate will share practical tried and tested examples. There will also be the opportunity to ask Kate questions too. I designed the retrieval practice challenge grid to help you purposefully revisit subject knowledge and content previously studied.

These results have since been repeated in multiple contexts and under a huge variety of conditions. This, of course, is what we are aiming for in what we teach. And based on what we know about how memory works, we think that the testing effect is an indispensable tool to achieve it.The problem with adding in these silly options is that they distract children from what you actually want them to remember (that “there were no more worlds to conquer”). Our job is to interrupt this forgetting, by using effective strategies to prompt children to retrieve information from memory. Embed multiple-choice quizzes into your classroom practice Try throwing in some questions where the answer is already correct (ie where something is the same in both dimensions) and see if they notice! Memorise this…

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