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ERIC Number: EJ802557
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1076-898X
Using a Model to Compute the Optimal Schedule of Practice
Pavlik, Philip I.; Anderson, John R.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, v14 n2 p101-117 Jun 2008
By balancing the spacing effect against the effects of recency and frequency, this paper explains how practice may be scheduled to maximize learning and retention. In an experiment, an optimized condition using an algorithm determined with this method was compared with other conditions. The optimized condition showed significant benefits with large effect sizes for both improved recall and recall latency. The optimization method achieved these benefits by using a modeling approach to develop a quantitative algorithm, which dynamically maximizes learning by determining for each item when the balance between increasing temporal spacing (that causes better long-term recall) and decreasing temporal spacing (that reduces the failure related time cost of each practice) means that the item is at the spacing interval where long-term gain per unit of practice time is maximal. As practice repetitions accumulate for each item, items become stable in memory and this optimal interval increases. (Contains 7 figures and 3 tables.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R305B070487