Frank N. Dempster
Laments lack of use of spacing effect in education (compares US vs Russian text!)
Must bridge gap that spacing effect is useful in classroom learning: done!
1. Experiment with addition with third graders 1. twice a day for 5 days or 2. once a day for 10 days. (Pyle 1913)
2. Reading a passage repeated 5 minutes, 20 minutes, and 48 hours. More recall in 48 hours.
3. Instruction, where the objective has been the learning of science and mathematical
concepts. (mostly terms, arithmetical rules)
4. Vocabulary learning.
Why has it not been applied widely?
1) Ahistorical character of research (rebuttal: been known for a long time)
2) Some failures in school-like activities (rebuttal: been shown to apply)
3) Dearth of classroom demonstrations (MOST TROUBLING)
4) Limited knowledge of classroom practice
5) Incomplete understanding of the psychological bases of the spacing effect (Has received recent documentation_
Some studies have shown that the spacing effect has boundaries:
1. Immediate recall.
2. It has been found that massed practice often is
more efficient for certain simple, isolated skills (writing the products of number pairs as rapidly as possible)
3. Evidence from traditional learning research suggests that the spacing effect may not apply to preschool age children, although it does emerge
in a robust manner by age seven (Toppino & DiGeorge,
4. Two studies have shown that the spacing effect can be eliminated if paraphrased rather than verbatim versions of the repeated materials are used (Dellarosa
& Bourne, 1985; Glover & Corkill, 1987).
5. Studies with lag lengths that were too long.
I'd like to try it! How many boxes are ideal or does it depend on the task and the learner?
attention (A) gain learner's attention
relevance (R) perceived value to the learner
confidence (C) helping students establish positive expectancies for success but also being moderately challenged
satisfaction (S) positive feelings about one's accomplishments and learning experiences
Distributed Practice in Verbal Recall Tasks: A Review and Quantitative Synthesis
- When you match ISI (how much time between practices) with the retention interval (how long they need to remember it) then good things happen.