Retrieval practice is the act of retrieving something from your memory (often with the help of a cue).
What does the evidence tell us?
Recent research has shown that retrieval is critical for robust, durable, long-term learning. Every time a memory is retrieved, that memory becomes more accessible in the future. Retrieval also helps us create coherent and integrated mental representations of complex concepts, the kind of deep learning necessary to solve new problems and draw new inferences. (Durrington Research School)
It is well worth the time to read The Science of Learning – Deans for Impact to get an understanding of how students learn and what implications this has for how we teach.
Many subjects use knowledge organisers as a powerful resource for retrieval practice. Read about how knowledge organisers can be used for retrieval practice in the blog posts below:
How do knowledge organisers work alongside retrieval practice?
- Guide to making and using Knowledge Organisers – Sadie McCleary – Teach Like a Champion
- Knowledge organisers – Joe Kirby
- Knowledge organisers and self-quizzing as a 5 year revision plan – Joe Kirby
- Self-quizzing as a form of homework – Rebecca Foster
- Knowledge Organisers at Primary level – Jon Brunskill
- Knowledge Organisers – Michael Tidd
- Introducing knowledge organisers – Rob Monk
- Making knowledge stick – Ross Morrisson McGill
- Using knowledge organisers – Greg Thornton
Blog Posts to read:
- The role of retrieval practice in the classroom – Firth, Smith, Havard and Boxer
- How to improve retrieval practice – good to great – Ben Newmark
- Knowledge Retrieval Practice Grids – Kate Jones
- Retrieval Practice – The Learning Scientists
- The critical role of retrieval practice in long term retention – Roediger and Butler
- What will improve a student’s memory? – Daniel Willingham
- Retrieval Practice, the most powerful teaching strategy that you’re not using! – Jennifer Gonzalez
- The benefits of retrieval practice – Andy Tharby
- Where does retrieval practice sit with formative and summative assessment? – retrievalpractice.org
- A powerful way to improve learning and memory – Jeffrey Karpicke
- The benefits of spaced practice in the classroom – Megan Smith
- Spaced Practice in Practice – Claire Hill
Information to share with students:
- How to study/revise with retrieval practice – The Learning Scientists
- How to use retrieval practice (video)
Science – Retrieval Practice in Science