Want Your Students To Remember Everything?. There’s an App for That. Keith B. Lyle, Ph.D. Dept. of Psychological & Brain Sciences. Celebration of Teaching and Learning, Feb. 8, 2013. How should students study?.
There’s an App for That
Keith B. Lyle, Ph.D.
Dept. of Psychological & Brain Sciences
Celebration of Teaching and Learning, Feb. 8, 2013
Suppose you give students four practice problems or four short readings on the same topic. Would you recommend that students do/read them consecutively without breaks or spend some time on Facebook between each one? Or does it not matter?
Press 1 for Consecutively
Press 2 for Facebook breaks
Press 3 for Who cares?
For each sentence, press 1 if it is an exact quotation of a famous line from television or film. Press 2 if it is not.
Luke, I am your father.
I think we’re gonna need a bigger boat.
Play it again, Sam.
Beam me up, Scotty.
Houston, we have a problem.
Why are these things (which didn’t even happen) so frequently remembered, when so much is forgotten?
How can we help students remember more?
We remember information better when its presentation or retrieval is spaced out
A freely available program to help students space out retrieval of to-be-remembered info
For any interval of time (X)between initial exposure to information and a retrieval attempt (Y)…
…the more times you have successfully retrieved the info during X, the more likely Y is to be successful
Retrieval Attempt Y
If retrievals are spaced out during X, instead of happening one after another…
…Y is more likely to be successful
Retrieval Attempt Y
Think about your exposure to, or own retrieval of, lines from television and film
Or your phone #, social security #, UofL ID #, etc…
An example of spacing
Each pair was studied 8 times total, but 20 spaced pairs were studied every day (2X/day) and 20 massed pairs were studied on one day only (8X)
Number 1 represents limpid-serene and that pair was studied 2X every day
Number 36 represents enervate-weaken and that pair was studied 8X on the last day only
On the test, Ss saw limpid-_______ and enervate-_______ and had to fill in the blank
Ss remembered 54% of the spaced pairs, but only 34% of the pairs for which they crammed the day before
Ss “crammed” for these pairs the day before the test
Students do not know that spacing is valuable
In Kornell’s study, subjects predicted that they would remember 33% fewerspaced pairs than massed pairs!
If given the opportunity to space, students knowingly opt not to
Some people mistakenly think that remembering can be easily dissociated from…
Research suggests otherwise
Karpicke & Blunt (2011)
Ss studied a science text in 1 of 4 conditions:
Study 4X in a row
Study 1X – write down everything they remembered – study again – write again
Create a context map while studying
Mullaney et al. (2012)
Students cannot be expected to spontaneously make use of a tool they do not know is useful
Anki is an adaptive flashcard program that implements spacing for learners
Free computer-based version runs on Windows, Mac OSX, Linux, and FreeBSD
Free mobile version for Android phones
$25 for iPhones
A web-based version is also free
Supposedly works well on phones
Instructors can create “decks” and upload them so that students can easily download them
Supports images, audio, videos, and LaTeX
After each retrieval attempt, you are asked to report how easy/difficult retrieval was
The easier retrieval was, the longer the interval before the next time you are asked to retrieve
The more spaced out retrieval attempts become
It is efficient
Once information becomes sufficiently easy to retrieve, the value in retrieving it over and over again (in massed fashion) is small, especially relative to the cost of time spent
Anki directs students to spend time attempting retrieval of information that is, by their own assessment, difficult for them to retrieve
It creates desirable difficulty
By increasing the interval between retrieval attempts, Anki ensures that each attempt has a measure of difficulty, even for information that has been retrieved many times
Research indicates that making a retrieval attempt difficult can increase retention of the retrieved information