Liberal Arts and Sciences
Retrieval practice; classroom research; implementation; science communication; teaching; learning; student achievement
Although research on retrieval practice—the process of bringing previously learned information to mind via quizzes, flashcards, etc.—dates back to the late 1800’s, it took nearly 100 years to gain popularity among educators as a teaching strategy. This was due, in part, to the limited availability of practical recommendations on how to use retrieval practice to improve learning. Recently, there has been a rapid expansion in science communication of retrieval practice research in many forms, including books, blogs, podcasts, and engagement on social media. As one indication of growing interest among the general public, in 2019 the phrase “retrieval practice” became more frequently searched than “testing effect” on Google.
In this commentary, I reflect on my personal experience in the science communication of retrieval practice research, with a specific focus on a website (retrievalpractice.org), an email newsletter, and brief practice guides I developed for teachers over the previous decade. We currently lack empirical measurement of the impact of science communication on classroom implementation, Preprint thus I offer five recommendations for translating research based on my own trials and errors. Looking forward to the next 100 years, I am optimistic that retrieval practice will be common knowledge as a valuable learning strategy and that teachers will leverage it to increase student achievement.
Agarwal, Pooja K., "Personal Reflections on Science Communication and Sharing Retrieval Practice Research with Teachers" (2024). Faculty Works.
Available for download on Saturday, December 28, 2024