Planning Education for Long-Term Retention: The Cognitive Science and Implementation of Retrieval Practice

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18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Educational systems are rarely designed for long-term retention of information. Strong evidence has emerged from cognitive psychology and applied education studies that repeated retrieval of information significantly improves retention compared to repeated studying. This effect likely emerges from the processes of memory consolidation and reconsolidation. Consolidation and reconsolidation are the means by which memories are organized into associational networks or schemas that are created and recreated as memories are formed and recalled. As educators implement retrieval practice, they should consider how various test formats lead to different degrees of schema activation. Repeated acts of retrieval provide opportunities for schemas to be updated and strengthened. Spacing of retrieval allows more consolidated schemas to be reactivated. Feedback provides metacognitive monitoring to ensure retrieval accuracy and can lead to shifts from ineffective to effective retrieval strategies. By using the principles of retrieval practice, educators can improve the likelihood that learners will retain information for longer periods of time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-456
Number of pages8
JournalSeminars in Neurology
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Keywords

  • learning
  • medical education
  • memory
  • retrieval practice
  • schema
  • test-enhanced learning

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