The Power of Successive Relearning: Improving Performance on Course Exams and Long-Term Retention
- 1.8k Downloads
Practice tests and spaced study are both highly potent for enhancing learning and memory. Combining these two methods under the conditions in which they are most effective (i.e., practice tests that invoke successful retrieval from long-term memory and spacing study across days) yields a promising learning technique referred to as successive relearning. Given the obvious implications of successive relearning for promoting student learning and the voluminous literatures on testing and spacing more generally, surprisingly few studies have evaluated successive relearning, and none have done so in an authentic educational context. The two experiments reported here establish the potency of a successive relearning intervention for enhancing student learning by demonstrating meaningful improvements in course exam performance and on long-term retention tests.
KeywordsSuccessive relearning Testing effect Spacing effect Student learning Retention
- Fritz, C. O., Morris, P. E., Bjork, R. A., Gelman, R., & Wickens, T. D. (2000). When further learning fails: Stability and change following repeated presentation of text. British Journal of Psychology, 91, 493–511.Google Scholar
- Howe, M. J. (1970). Repeated presentation and recall of meaningful prose. Journal of Educational Psychology, 61, 214–219.Google Scholar
- Kay, H. (1955). Learning and retaining verbal material. British Journal of Psychology, 46, 81–100.Google Scholar
- Rawson, K. A., & Dunlosky, J. (2012a). Relearning attenuates the benefits and costs of spacing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. doi: 10.1037/a0030498.
- Rawson, K. A., & Dunlosky, J. (2013). Bang for the buck: Supporting durable and efficient student learning. Submitted manuscript. Google Scholar
- Spitzer, H. F. (1939). Studies in retention. Journal of Educational Psychology, 30, 641–656.Google Scholar
- Vaughn, K.E., Rawson, K. A., & Dunlosky, J. (2013). Bang for the buck: Successive relearning beats initial criterion level. Paper presented at the 85th annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.Google Scholar