At the Learning Agency, we strongly believe in the power of active learning also known as "retrieval practice" or the "generation effect" when it comes to learning effectively. After all, countless studies have shown the positive role that more forms of practice have on long-term classroom learning. One iteration is called the testing effect, which is the finding that students learn better when using testing as a practice strategy. While research has clearly supported this approach, educators can sometimes struggle to demonstrate the value of the testing effect to their students.
Enter Testing the Testing Effect, an online tool that students of all subjects can use to see firsthand the value of the testing effect. The original study, developed by Dr. Efrat Furst of Harvard University, asked students to learn 24 Swahili words -- 12 in “study” mode and 12 in “test” mode, with the latter drawing on retrieval practice.
Then, a week later, students were tested again on their knowledge, with students remembering significantly more “test” words than “study” words. Furthermore, students underestimated their memory performance on “test” words in the follow-up exercise, suggesting that they might not fully grasp the power of retrieval practice when studying.
Interested in experiencing the testing effect yourself? Click here to try Dr. Furst’s memory experiment.