Distributed practice and retrieval practice are promising learning strategies to use in education. We examined the effects of these strategies in primary school vocabulary lessons. Grades 2, 3, 4, and 6 children performed exercises that were part of the regular curriculum. For the distributed practice manipulation, the children performed six exercises distributed within 1 week (short-lag repetition) or across 2 weeks (long-lag repetition). For the repetition type manipulation, children copied a part of the description of a word (restudy) or recalled the description (retrieval practice). At the end of each week, the children received a cued-recall vocabulary test. After 1 to 11 weeks they received a multiple-choice vocabulary test. Both on the cued-recall test and on the multiple-choice test no benefits of long-lag repetition and retrieval practice were found. These results put into question the practical value of long-lag repetition and retrieval practice in real-life primary school vocabulary lessons.
- Distributed practice
- retrieval practice
- vocabulary learning
- primary school
Goossens, N., Camp, G., Verkoeijen, P., Tabbers, H., Bouwmeester, S., & Zwaan, R. (2016). Distributed Practice and Retrieval Practice in Primary School Vocabulary Learning: A Multi-classroom Study. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 30(5), 700-712. https://doi.org/10.1002/acp.3245