NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: ED563060
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 14
An Efficacy Study of Interleaved Mathematics Practice. Revised
Rohrer, Doug; Dedrick, Robert F.; Burgess, Kaleena
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness
In a typical mathematics course, the material is divided into many lessons, and each lesson is followed by an assignment consisting of practice problems. Most commonly, each assignment consists solely of problems on the preceding lesson. For example, a lesson on ratios might be followed by an assignment with 12 problems on ratios. In other words, problems of the same kind are arranged in blocks. In this study, "blocked assignments" served as the control. In an alternative approach that is the intervention of interest, problems within the course are rearranged so that most of the problems within each assignment are based on previous lessons and arranged in an "interleaved" order. For example, after a lesson on ratios, an interleaved assignment might include a small block of four ratio problems and one problem from each of eight previous lessons. The remaining eight ratio problems are distributed across future assignments. Researchers conducted the study at a large public middle school in Tampa, Florida. Three middle school mathematics teachers and 140 of their seventh grade students participated. Students received 10 assignments over an 8-week period. All students received the same practice problems, but the problems were rearranged to produce two versions of each assignment. Across all assignments, students received 12 problems on each of four different kinds of problems. The study used a counterbalanced crossover design. For each assignment, researchers provided teachers with a slide presentation with solved examples and solutions to each problem. Teachers presented the examples before distributing the assignment. On the following school day, teachers presented the solutions while encouraging students to make any necessary corrections to their own solutions, and then collected the assignments. Within two days of each assignment's due date, at least one of the authors visited the school and scored the assignments. The Final Test was given to students during their regular classroom period and proctored by both the teacher and one author. Final test scores revealed that interleaved assignments were nearly twice as effective as blocked assignments. This finding suggests that interleaved mathematics assignments might be feasible and effective. This intervention could be implemented at all levels of mathematics instruction, and creators of mathematics texts and other instructional media can provide interleaved practice by simply rearranging practice problems.
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. 2040 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208. Tel: 202-495-0920; Fax: 202-640-4401; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; Grade 7; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE)
Identifiers - Location: Florida