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ERIC Number: ED498555
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Sep
Pages: 63
Abstractor: ERIC
Organizing Instruction and Study to Improve Student Learning. IES Practice Guide. NCER 2007-2004
Pashler, Harold; Bain, Patrice M.; Bottge, Brian A.; Graesser, Arthur; Koedinger, Kenneth; McDaniel, Mark; Metcalfe, Janet
National Center for Education Research
This Practice Guide is the third in a series of Institute of Education Sciences (IES) guides in education. Much of teaching is about helping students master new knowledge and skills and then helping students not to forget what they have learned. The recommendations in this practice guide are intended to provide teachers with specific strategies for organizing both instruction and students' studying of material to facilitate learning and remembering information, and to enable students to use what they have learned in new situations. The seven recommendations in this practice guide reflect authors' consensus on concrete and applicable principles to emerge from recent research on learning and memory. The first recommendation about the spacing of key course content is an overarching principle that teachers should attend to as they plan out sequences of instruction. This recommendation provides advice that is intended to help students remember information longer. The second, third, and fourth recommendations relate to how different forms of instruction should be combined: worked example solutions and new problems posed to the student (Recommendation 2), graphical and verbal descriptions of concepts and mechanisms (Recommendation 3), and abstract and concrete representations of a concept (Recommendation 4). Recommendation 5 reflects ongoing concern with memory. In these days of high-stakes tests, teachers are often reminded of how often students appear to have mastered information and concepts in December or February, only to have forgo them by June. Although forgetting is a reality of life, its effects can be somewhat mitigated through appropriate use of spaced learning and through strategic use of quizzing. Recommendation 6 relates to students' ability to judge how well they have learned new knowledge or skills. The authors believe that students' ability to manage their own studying is an important skill that students need to learn, with consequences that will be felt throughout their lives. The final recommendation targets ways to shape instruction as students gain expertise in a particular domain. In sum, these recommendations reflect a set of actions that teachers can take that reflect the process of teaching and learning, and that recognize the ways in which instruction should respond to the state of the learner. It also reflects the central organizing principle that learning depends upon memory, and that memory of skills and concepts can be strengthened by relatively concrete, nonobvious strategies. Technical Information on the Studies is appended. (Contains 132 footnotes and 2 tables.) [This report was produced by the National Center for Education Research, Institute of Education Sciences (IES).]
National Center for Education Research. Available from: ED Pubs. P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794. Tel: 877-433-7826; Fax: 301-470-1244; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Institute of Education Sciences (ED), Washington, DC.
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
IES Cited: EJ658856; EJ663875; EJ329441; ED408562; EJ246382; EJ591237; EJ634883; EJ641062; EJ752753; EJ762701; EJ762921; EJ623174; EJ742345; ED296291; EJ746449; EJ356340; ED296994; EJ773559; EJ391004; EJ698013; EJ747008; EJ724967; EJ778763; EJ469844; EJ674343; EJ482577; EJ734404; EJ640537; EJ598321; EJ449454; EJ736299; EJ442330; EJ080032; EJ442338; EJ456638; EJ571192; EJ734261; EJ682769; EJ744665; EJ698005; EJ597816; EJ509342; EJ637767; EJ484337; ED505658; ED379618; EJ662098; EJ658398; EJ732331; EJ144587; EJ142032; ED505642; EJ786797; EJ533506; ED431763; EJ662401; EJ734748; EJ525860; EJ754602; ED532215; ED544376; ED560919