Learning psychological research and statistical concepts using retrieval-based practice

Article English OPEN
Hun Lim, Stephen Wee ; Peng Ng, Gavin Jun ; Hao Wong, Gabriel Qi (2015)
  • Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.
  • Journal: Frontiers in Psychology, volume 6 (issn: 1664-1078, eissn: 1664-1078)
  • Related identifiers: pmc: PMC4593518, doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01484/full, doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01484
  • Subject: Psychology | retrieval-based learning | research methods pedagogy | BF1-990 | Original Research | experimental education | testing effect | teaching of psychology
    mesheuropmc: education

Research methods and statistics are an indispensable subject in the undergraduate psychology curriculum, but there are challenges associated with engaging students in it, such as making learning durable. Here we hypothesized that retrieval-based learning promotes long-term retention of statistical knowledge in psychology. Participants either studied the educational material in four consecutive periods, or studied it just once and practiced retrieving the information in the subsequent three periods, and then took a final test through which their learning was assessed. Whereas repeated studying yielded better test performance when the final test was immediately administered, repeated practice yielded better performance when the test was administered a week after. The data suggest that retrieval practice enhanced the learning—produced better long-term retention—of statistical knowledge in psychology than did repeated studying.
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