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Retention and Learning

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Application; Recall


Retention of learned information can be defined as having the information stored in long-term memory in such a way that it can be readily retrieved, for example, in response to standard prompts.

Transfer is defined as the process by which learning in one context is applied to solve a problem or make sense of a situation in a different context.

Theoretical Background

The study of retention clearly overlaps with the study of memory, but differs in that for information to be viewed as retained, students must be able to recall it when appropriate in response to prompts such as those usually found in schools and not merely in response to experiential cues, such as the smell of freshly baked bread. The study of retention is among the oldest areas of formal study in the science of learning, dating back to Ebbinghaus’s study of spacing effects in the 1880s (Ebbinghaus 1885).

In order to retain information, the information must first be processed into...

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Correspondence to Andrew G. Bennett .

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© 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC

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Bennett, A.G., Rebello, N.S. (2012). Retention and Learning. In: Seel, N.M. (eds) Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning. Springer, Boston, MA.

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