Supporting durable and efficient student learning
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Supporting Durable and Efficient Student Learning. Katherine Rawson Kent State University. Research supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grants #R305H050038 and #R305A080316 to Kent State University. 

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Supporting Durable and Efficient Student Learning

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Supporting durable and efficient student learning

Supporting Durable and Efficient Student Learning

Katherine Rawson

Kent State University

Research supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grants#R305H050038 and #R305A080316 toKent State University. 

The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not represent views

of the Institute or the U.S. Department of Education.


Retrieval monitoring feedback rmf method

Retrieval-Monitoring-Feedback (RMF) Method

Why key term definitions?

Why is durability important?

Why is efficiency important?

Why retrieval practice?


What we know

What We Know…

Retrieval practice + restudy is good

More is better

Spaced practice is best

What We Don’t Know…

Optimal schedule for durability and efficiency ?


Experiment 1

Experiment 1

130 students in Introductory Psychology

Short text with 8 key term definitions

What is the availability heuristic?

Judging the likelihood of an event based on how easy it is to think of real or imagined examples.

Day 1: Initial study

Retrieval practice (with restudy)

until 1,2,3,or 4correct recalls

Day 3: Final recall test


Experiment 2

Experiment 2

335 students, 16 key term definitions

Initial learning: 1 or 3 correct recalls

Relearning sessions: 1, 2, 3, 4,or5

Criterion Test #1: one monthafter practice

Criterion Test #2: four monthsafter practice


Supporting durable and efficient student learning

2.6 > 2.1

1.9 ~ 1.7

1.5 ~ 1.5

2.3 > 2.0

1.7 ~ 1.6


Supporting durable and efficient student learning

Four Month Test


Experiment 3

Experiment 3

180 students, 8 key term definitions

Day 1:

Retrieval practice until ~2 correct recalls

LAG:zero, one, three, or seven other items between trials

Day 3: relearning session

Day 8: relearning session

Day 10: final cued recall test


What we knew

Conclusions: Optimizing Durability and Efficiency

What We Knew…

More is better

Spaced practice is best

What We Now Know…

More is increasingly less better

Spaced practice not always best?


Supporting durable and efficient student learning

Thanks to our tireless team of research assistants who collected data from 645 participants and who hand-scored more than 80,000 recall responses for just these three experiments alone!

Mike Appleman John Kozlik

Melissa Bishop Korin Lee

Tina Burke Caitlin Metelko

Sean Burton Rochelle O’Neil

Dan Molnar Jill Peterson

Nicole Gonzalez Danielle Roberto

Phil Grimaldi Melissa Roderick

Tonya Hardway Sara Smith

Alison Kane Katie Wissman


Supporting durable and efficient student learning

What is the self-serving bias?


One month booster shot

One Month “Booster Shot”


Supporting durable and efficient student learning

Percent of commission errors judged to be worth no credit, partial credit, or full credit

None PartFull

no definition 17 58 25

definition 48 38 14

idea units 78 20 2


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