Improving retention by placing retrieval practice at the end of class: A naturalistic study

Mejorando la retención al realizar la práctica de recuperación al final de la clase: un estudio naturalístico

Roberta Ekuni , Sabine Pompeia
Revista Latinoamericana de Psicología, (2020), 52, pp. 22-32.
Received 1 April 2019
Accepted 29 November 2019



El intento de recordar la información presentada previamente mediante pruebas o cuestionarios (práctica de recuperación, RP) mejora la memoria. Sin embargo, en las clases reales no está claro en qué momento debe realizarse las pruebas para obtener un mejor aprendizaje. Probamos a los estudiantes utilizando materiales auténticos de cursos de licenciatura en dos momentos, seguidos de una retroalimentación colectiva: (a) al final de la clase en la que se enseñó el contenido; o (b) al principio de la siguiente clase. La reenseñanza (RT) del mismo contenido a través de revisiones dirigidas por el profesor en el mismo momento se utilizó como condición de control. La RP y la RT más la retroalimentación tomaron 15 minutos de clases de 100 minutos de duración y se aplicaron durante 12 clases después de las cuales la retención fue evaluada por exámenes. Los participantes fueron 114 estudiantes inscritos en un curso impartido cada dos semanas. Las pruebas (RP) realizadas una vez al final de la misma clase en la que el contenido se enseñó, aumentó los resultados académicos en alrededor de un 10% en comparación con las otras manipulaciones.

Palabras clave
Efecto de las pruebas, memoria, aprendizaje basado en la evidencia


Attempting to recall previously encountered information by being tested or quizzed (retrieval practice: RP) enhances memory. In real classrooms, however, it is unclear when testing should take place (placement) in order to elicit better learning. We tested students using authentic undergraduate-course materials with two placements, followed by collective feedback: (a) at the end of the class in which content was taught; or (b) at the beginning of the next class. Re-teaching (RT) the same content through lecturer led-reviews at the same placements was used as a control condition. RP and RT plus feedback took 15 min of 100 min-long classes and were applied during 12 classes after which retention was assessed by exams. Participants were 114 students enrolled in a biweekly taught course. Testing (RP) once at the end of the same class in which content was taught boosted academic scores by around 10% compared to the other manipulations.

Testing effect, memory, evidence-based learning

Artículo Completo

Adesope, O. O., Trevisan, D. A., & Sundararajan, N. (2017). Rethinking the Use of Tests: A Meta-Analysis of Practice Testing. Review of Educational Research, 87(3), 659–701. https://doi. org/10.3102/0034654316689306

Agarwal, P. K., Bain, P. M., & Chamberlain, R. W. (2012). The Value of Applied Research: Retrieval Practice Improves Classroom Learning and Recommendations from a Teacher, a Principal, and a Scientist. Educational Psychology Review, 24(3), 437–448.

Agarwal, P. K., D’Antonio, L., Roediger, H. L., McDermott, K. B., & McDaniel, M. A. (2014). Classroom-based programs of retrieval practice reduce middle school and high school students’ test anxiety. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 3, 131–139.

Bangert-Drowns, R. L., Kulik, J. A., & Kulik, C.-L. C. (1991). Effects of frequent classroom testing. The Journal of Educational Research, 85(2), 89–99.

Bjork, E. L., & Bjork, R. A. (2011). Making Things Hard on Yourself, But in a Good Way: Creating Desirable Difficulties to Enhance Learning. In M. A. Gernsbacher, R. W. Pew, L. M. Hough, J. R. Pomerantz (Eds.) & FABBS Foundation, Psychology and the real world: Essays illustrating fundamental contributions to society (pp. 56–64). Worth Publishers.

Bjork, E. L., Little, J. L., & Storm, B. C. (2014). Multiple-choice testing as a desirable difficulty in the classroom. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 3, 165–170.

Bjork, R. A. (1975). Retrieval as a memory modifier: An interpretation of negative recency and related phenomena. Information Processing and Cognition: The Loyola Symposium, 123–144.

Bol, L., & Hacker, D. J. (2001). A comparison of the effects of practice tests and traditional review on performance and calibration. Journal of Experimental Education, 69(2), 133–151.

Butler, A. C., Karpicke, J. D., & Roediger, H. L. (2007). The effect of type and timing of feedback on learning from multiple-choice tests. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 13(4), 273–281.

Butler, A. C., & Roediger, H. L. (2008). Feedback enhances the positive effects and reduces the negative effects of multiple-choice testing. Memory & Cognition, 36(3), 604–616.

Carpenter, S. K. (2009). Cue strength as a moderator of the testing effect: The benefits of elaborative retrieval. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 35(6), 1563–1569.

Cohen, J. (1998). Statistical Power Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition. NJ, U.S.A.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.

Cosenza, R., & Guerra, L. (2011). Neurociência e educação. Artmed Editora.

Dunlosky, J., Rawson, K. A., Marsh, E. J., Nathan, M. J., & Willingham, D. T. (2013). Improving students’ learning with effective learning techniques: Promising directions from cognitive and educational psychology. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, Supplement, 14(1), 4–58.

Evans, M. D. R., Kelley, P., & Kelley, J. (2017). Identifying the best times for cognitive functioning using new methods: Matching university times to undergraduate chronotypes. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 11(April), 1-11.

Hays, M. J., Kornell, N., & Bjork, R. A. (2012). When and why a failed test potentiates the effectiveness of subsequent study. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 39(1), 290–296.

Huang, C. (2013). Gender differences in academic self-efficacy: A meta-analysis. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 28(1), 1–35.

Kang, S. H. K., McDermott, K. B., & Roediger, H. L. (2007). Test format and corrective feedback modify the effect of testing on long-term retention. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 19(4–5), 528–558.

Karpicke, J. D. (2017). Retrieval-Based Learning: A Decade of Progress. In Learning and Memory: A Comprehensive Reference (Third Ed.) (pp. 1–28). United Kingdom: Elsevier.

Karpicke, J. D., & Aue, W. R. (2015). The Testing Effect Is Alive and Well with Complex Materials. Educational Psychology Review, 27(2), 317–326.

Karpicke, J. D., Lehman, M., & Aue, W. R. (2014). Retrieval-Based Learning. An Episodic Context Account. Psychology of Learning and Motivation – Advances in Research and Theory (Vol. 61).

Karpicke, J. D., & Roediger, H. L. (2010). Is expanding retrieval a superior method for learning text materials? Memory & Cognition, 38(1), 116–124.

Kornell, N., Rabelo, V. C., & Jacobs, P. (2012). Tests enhance learning — Compared to what? Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 1, 257–259.

Kornell, N., & Vaughn, K. E. (2016). How retrieval attempts affect learning: A review and synthesis. The Pschology of Learning and Motivation, 1–33.

Leeming, F. C. (2002). The Exam-A-Day Procedure Improves Performance in Psychology Classes. Teaching of Psychology, 29(3), 210–212.

Levandovski, R., Sasso, E., & Hidalgo, M. P. (2013). Chronotype: a review of the advances, limits and applicability of the main instruments used in the literature to assess human phenotype. Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, 35(1), 3–11.

Lyle, K. B., & Crawford, N. A. (2011). Retrieving Essential Material at the End of Lectures Improves Performance on Statistics Exams. Teaching of Psychology, 38(2), 94–97.

McDaniel, M. A., Agarwal, P. K., Huelser, B. J., McDermott, K. B., & Roediger, H. L. (2011). Test-enhanced learning in a middle school science classroom: The effects of quiz frequency and placement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 103(2), 399–414.

McDaniel, M. A., Anderson, J. L., Derbish, M. H., & Morrisette, N. (2007). Testing the testing effect in the classroom. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 19(4–5), 494–513.

McDaniel, M. A., Roediger, H. L., & McDermott, K. B. (2007). Generalizing test-enhanced learning from the laboratory to the classroom. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 14(2), 200–206.

McDaniel, M. A., Thomas, R. C., Agarwal, P. K., McDermott, K. B., & Roediger, H. L. (2013). Quizzing in Middle-School Science: Successful Transfer Performance on Classroom Exams. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 27(3), 360–372.

McKenzie, S., & Eichenbaum, H. (2011). Consolidation and Reconsolidation: Two Lives of Memories? Neuron, 71(2), 224–233.

Moreira, B. F. T., Pinto, T. S. S., Starling, D. S. V., & Jaeger, A. (2019). Retrieval Practice in Classroom Settings: A Review of Applied Research. Frontiers in Education, 4(February).

Old, S. R., & Naveh-Benjamin, M. (2008). Differential Effects of Age on Item and Associative Measures of Memory: A Meta-Analysis. Psychology and Aging, 23(1), 104–118.

Preckel, F., Lipnevich, A. A., Boehme, K., Brandner, L., Georgi, K., Könen, T., … Roberts, R. D. (2013). Morningness-eveningness and educational outcomes: The lark has an advantage over the owl at high school. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 83(1), 114–134.

Pyc, M. A., Agarwal, P. K., & Roediger, H. L. (2014). Test-enhanced Learning. In V. A. Benassi, C. E. Overson, & C. M. Hakala (Eds.), Applying Science of Learning in Education: Infusing Psychological Science into the Curriculum (pp. 78–90). American Psychological Association Society for the Teaching of Psychology.

Pyc, M. A., & Rawson, K. A. (2009). Testing the retrieval effort hypothesis: Does greater difficulty correctly recalling information lead to higher levels of memory? Journal of Memory and Language, 60(4), 437–447.

Radvansky, G. A., & Zacks, J. M. (2017). Event boundaries in memory and cognition. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 17, 133–140.

Rahafar, A., Maghsudloo, M., Farhangnia, S., Vollmer, C., & Randler, C. (2016). The role of chronotype, gender, test anxiety, and conscientiousness in academic achievement of high school students. Chronobiology International, 33(1), 1–9.

Rawson, K. A. (2015). The Status of the Testing Effect for Complex Materials: Still a Winner. Educational Psychology Review, 27(2), 327–331.

Roediger, H. L., Agarwal, P. K., McDaniel, M. A., & McDermott, K. B. (2011). Test-enhanced learning in the classroom: long-term improvements from quizzing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 17(4), 382–395.

Roediger, H. L., & Butler, A. C. (2011). The critical role of retrieval practice in long-term retention. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 15(1), 20–27.

Roediger, H. L., Finn, B., & Weinstein, Y. (2012). Applications of cognitive science to education. In S. Della Sala & M. Anderson (Eds.), Neuroscience in Education: the good, the bad and the ugly (pp. 128–151). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Roediger, H. L., & Karpicke, J. D. (2006). The Power of Testing Memory: Basic Research and Implications for Educational Practice. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 1(3), 181–210.

Roediger, H. L., & Karpicke, J. D. (2011). Intricacies of spaced retrieval: A resolution. In A. S. Benjamin (Ed.), Successful Remembering and Successful Forgetting: Essays in Honor of Robert A. Bjork (pp. 23–48). New York: Routledge.

Roediger, H. L., Putnam, A. L., & Smith, M. A. (2011). Ten Benefits of Testing and Their Applications to Educational Practice. In J. Mestre & B. Ross (Eds.), Psychology of learning and motivation: Cognition in education (Vol. 55, pp. 1–36). Oxford: Elsevier.

Rowland, C. A. (2014). The Effect of Testing Versus Restudy on Retention: A Meta-Analytic Review of the Testing Effect. Psychological Bulletin, 140(6), 1–32.

Santrock, J. W. (2009). Educational psychology. McGraw-Hill Education.

Smith, M. A., Roediger, H. L., & Karpicke, J. D. (2013). Covert retrieval practice benefits retention as much as overt retrieval practice. Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 39(6), 1712–1725.

Szpunar, K. K., McDermott, K. B., & Roediger, H. L. (2008). Testing during study insulates against the buildup of proactive interference. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 34(6), 1392–1399. https://doi. org/10.1037/a0013082

van Gog, T., & Sweller, J. (2015). Not New, but Nearly Forgotten: the Testing Effect Decreases or even Disappears as the Complexity of Learning Materials Increases. Educational Psychology Review, 27(2), 247–264.

Voyer, D., & Voyer, S. D. (2014). Psychological Bulletin Gender Differences in Scholastic Achievement: A Gender Differences in Scholastic Achievement: A Meta-Analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 140(4), 1174–1204.

0 comentarios

Dejar un comentario

¿Quieres unirte a la conversación?
Siéntete libre de contribuir

Deja una respuesta

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada. Los campos obligatorios están marcados con *