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2006Research Conference | June 15–16

This conference highlighted the work of invited speakers, independent researchers who have received grant funds from the Institute of Education Sciences, and trainees supported through predoctoral training grants and postdoctoral fellowships. The presentations are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Department of Education or the Institute of Education Sciences.
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
400 New Jersey Avenue, N.W.
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Repeated Retrieval During Learning is the Key to Enhancing Later Retention

Jeffrey Karpicke, Washington University at St. Louis
Henry Roediger, III, Washington University at St. Louis

Abstract: Tests not only measure the contents of memory, they can also enhance learning and long-term retention. We report two experiments that investigated the role of test trials in producing learning during multitrial free recall. Subjects learned lists of words across multiple study and test trials and took a final recall test 1 week after learning. In Experiment 1, repeated testing during learning enhanced retention relative to repeated studying, although alternating study and test trials produced the best retention. In Experiment 2, recalled items were dropped from further studying or testing to investigate how different types of practice affect retention. Repeated study of previously recalled items did not benefit retention relative to dropping those items from further study. However, repeated recall of previously recalled items enhanced retention by more than 100% relative to dropping those items from further testing. Repeated retrieval of information is the key to long-term retention.