ERG SES C 08, Secondary Education
This paper focuses on the implementation of a learning project based upon the distributed practice learning technique, in Biology and Geology classes at a secondary education level. It describes the implementation of an intervention program built among the distributed practice´s teaching and learning principles.
This study has four main goals: (i) to know secondary student’s perceptions concerning their daily study skills; (ii) to implement the distributed practice learning technique in a Biology and Geology class; (iii) to assess the impact of distributed practice learning technique in students test scores and (iv) to evaluate the technique impact and changes among the daily students learning methods. To Dunlosky et al (2013), the term distributed-practice effect refers to the concept that distributing learning over time (either within a single study session or across sessions) typically benefits more long-term memory than does massing learning opportunities back-to-back or in relatively close succession.
Benjamin and Tullis (2010) refer that the advantages provided to memory by the distribution of multiple practice or study opportunities are among the most powerful effects in memory research. According to Cepeda et al (2009) an increased temporal lag between study episodes often enhances performance on a later memory test. The distributed-practice effect is robust. Cepeda et al (2006), after a review of 254 studies found that students recalled more after spaced study (47%) than after massed study (37%). In In a meta-analyses by Donovan and Radosevich’s (1999), distributed practice was associated with moderate effect sizes for recall of verbal stimuli distributed practice refers to a particular schedule of learning episodes, as opposed to a particular kind of learning episode. However, Cepeda et al (2009) consider that, although distributed practice has long been seen as a promising avenue to improve educational effectiveness, research in this area has had little effect on educational practice (Pashler, Rohrer, Cepeda, & Carpenter, 2007). Until recently, most distributed practice studies have used brief spacing gaps and brief retention intervals, usually on the order of seconds or minutes. Dunlosky et al (2013) explored the efficacy of 10 learning techniques that students could use to improve their success across a wide variety of content domains. The learning techniques considered were chosen on the basis of the following criteria. Some techniques like self-testing or distributed practice, were chosen because the literature indicated that they could improve student success across a wide range of conditions. Other techniques, for example, rereading and highlighting, were included because students report using them frequently. Dunlosky et al (2013) consider the importance of students to adopt effective learning techniques that improve their school achievements and insist that some effective techniques are underutilized—many teachers do not learn about them, and hence many students do not use them, despite evidence suggesting that the techniques could benefit student achievement with little added effort.
Benjamin, A. S., & Tullis, J. (2010). What makes distributed practice effective? Cognitive Psychology, 61, 228–247. Cepeda, N. J., Coburn, N., Rohrer, D., Wixted, J. T., Mozer, M. C., & Pashler, H. (2009). Optimizing distributed practice: Theoretical analysis and practical implications. Experimental Psychology, 56, 236–246. Cepeda, N. J., Pashler, H., Vul, E., Wixted, J. T., & Rohrer, D. (2006). Distributed practice in verbal recall tasks: A review and quantitative synthesis. Psychological Bulletin, 132, 354–380 Donovan, J. J., & Radosevich, D. J. (1999). A meta-analytic review of the distribution of practice effect: Now you see it, now you don’t. Journal of Applied Psychology , 84, 795–805 Dunlosky, J et al (2013). Improving Students’ Learning With Effective Learning Techniques: Promising Directions From Cognitive and Educational Psychology Psychological Science in the Public Interest 14(1) 4– 58. Pashler, H., Bain, P., Bottge, B., Graesser, A., Koedinger, K., McDaniel, M., & Metcalfe, J. (2007). Organizing instruction and study to improve student learning (NCER 2007–2004). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Research, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.
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