- Answering a question aloud
Answering a spoken question aloud presents another useful form of Retrieval Practice. Verbalising an answer offers a new way for students to process information, helping them make rapid connections under pressure. Studies have found that reading or speaking aloud is may be more beneficial than silent study, as it engages a range of senses and cognitive processes.
This method does more than just reinforce memory; it also helps students develop their communication skills, preparing them for presentations and discussions in their academic and professional lives.
- Testing yourself with flashcards
Flashcards are excellent tools for Retrieval Practice. The questions are directly relevant to students’ learning. The key is to not spend too much time writing the question, so as to ensure the majority of time is spent on retrieval.
They are also a great tool for frequently revisiting knowledge, which acts as a form of Spacing. One helpful strategy to help facilitate this is the Leitner System, which gets students to sort their flashcards in a series of boxes that allow them to revisit weaker memories more often than concepts they’re already comfortable with.
- Teaching Others
One of the most potent learning methods is teaching others, also known as the Protégé Effect.By explaining concepts to someone else, students can identify gaps in their knowledge and gain a deeper understanding of the subject matter. They also have to organize and structure their thought process and retrieve information in order to do so. Follow-up questions can further probe their understanding, offering additional opportunities for Retrieval Practice.
This is an especially great way for parents and guardians to get involved in their child’s studying.
Retrieval Practice is more than a revision technique – it’s a powerful learning strategy that places students in the best position to succeed and remember as much as possible. By answering questions rather than merely reading or highlighting information, students actively and repetitively engage with the material, reinforcing their memory and understanding.
Incorporating methods such as past papers, essays, multiple-choice tests or flashcards into your students’ learning can have a strong, long-lasting impact on their memory and performance, helping them to unlock their full potential.