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Investigating the testing effect: Retrieval as a characteristic of effective study strategies

, Virginia Commonwealth University, United States ; , University of Florida, United States ; , Western Kentucky University, United States

Learning and Instruction Volume 60, Number 1, ISSN 0959-4752 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Presently, the most common approach to examining the testing effect is using a free recall form of retrieval practice. In this experiment, we compared free recall to other retrieval-based study strategies including practice quizzing, test-generation, and keyword. We also examined the possible benefit of coupling these retrieval-based strategies with free recall. A total of 338 undergraduates were randomly assigned to one of the nine conditions: a repeated retrieval (study-test) learning condition paired with one of the four retrieval-based strategies, a single retrieval (study-study) learning condition paired with a retrieval-based strategy, or a rehearsal (study-study-study) condition. Following a 7-day delay, students completed a test assessing retention of information learned. There was a significant interaction between learning condition (repeated vs. single retrieval practice) and type of retrieval-based strategy. Free recall and practice quizzing were the most effective types of retrieval practice, and coupling testgeneration and practice quizzing with free recall led to significant benefits in performance.


Bae, C.L., Therriault, D.J. & Redifer, J.L. (2019). Investigating the testing effect: Retrieval as a characteristic of effective study strategies. Learning and Instruction, 60(1), 206-214. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved February 18, 2020 from .

This record was imported from Learning and Instruction on March 15, 2019. Learning and Instruction is a publication of Elsevier.

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