ERIC Number: EJ1042372
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Oct
Reference Count: 16
Strategies That Make Learning Last
Willingham, Daniel T.
Educational Leadership, v72 n2 p10-15 Oct 2014
Researchers have asked college students how they study, and the results show that most use four inefficient strategies that do not often work: (1) reading assigned chapter, trying to understand individual sentences as he goes but not necessarily ensuring he's got the overall gist; (2) marking what he takes to be important points with a highlighter; (3) not looking at the chapter again until a day or two before the test; and (4) rereading the chapter in preparation for the test, with a focus on only the highlighted sections. So what can teachers do to ensure learning that lasts? This article provides four strategies that make student learning last: (1) Elaborative Interrogation and Self-Explanation--asking ones-self how the passage read relates to what they already know; (2) Distributed Practice--allocating study hours over a few days; (3) Interleaved Practice--study and practice of different concepts within a single session; and (4) Practice Testing--taking a brief quiz, rooting around in memory, trying (perhaps struggling) to remember something, is actually a great way to ensure that the memory sticks. Each of these techniques has been studied, not only in the laboratory, but also in classrooms, and are useful additions to a teacher's toolbox.
Descriptors: Learning Strategies, College Students, Lifelong Learning, Pretesting, Concept Teaching, Time Factors (Learning), Self Management, Metacognition, Independent Study, Learning Processes, Educational Practices, Change Strategies
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A