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ERIC Number: EJ860923
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 43
ISSN: ISSN-0096-3445
Metacognitive Control and Strategy Selection: Deciding to Practice Retrieval during Learning
Karpicke, Jeffrey D.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, v138 n4 p469-486 Nov 2009
Retrieval practice is a potent technique for enhancing learning, but how often do students practice retrieval when they regulate their own learning? In 4 experiments the subjects learned foreign-language items across multiple study and test periods. When items were assigned to be repeatedly tested, repeatedly studied, or removed after they were recalled, repeated retrieval produced powerful effects on learning and retention. However, when subjects were given control over their own learning and could choose to test, study, or remove items, many subjects chose to remove items rather than practice retrieval, leading to poor retention. In addition, when tests were inserted in the learning phase, attempting retrieval improved learning by enhancing subsequent encoding during study. But when students were given control over their learning they did not attempt retrieval as early or as often as they should to promote the best learning. The experiments identify a compelling metacognitive illusion that occurs during self-regulated learning: Once students can recall an item they tend to believe they have "learned" it. This leads students to terminate practice rather than practice retrieval, a strategy choice that ultimately results in poor retention. (Contains 10 figures and 5 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