“Retrieval practice” is a learning strategy where we focus on getting information out. Through the act of retrieval, or calling information to mind, our memory for that information is strengthened and forgetting is less likely to occur. Retrieval practice is a powerful tool for improving learning without more technology, money, or class time.

On this website (and in our free Retrieval Practice Guide), we discuss how to use retrieval practice to improve learning. Established by nearly 100 years of research, retrieval practice is a simple and powerful technique to transform teaching and learning.

In order to improve learning, we must approach it through a new lens – let’s focus not on getting information “in,” but on getting information “out.”

 

 

What is retrieval practice?
Retrieval practice is a strategy in which bringing information to mind enhances and boosts learning. Deliberately recalling information forces us to pull our knowledge “out” and examine what we know.

For instance, recalling an answer to a science question improves learning to a greater extent than looking up the answer in a textbook. And having to actually recall and write down an answer to a flashcard improves learning more than thinking that you know the answer and flipping the card over prematurely.

Often, we think we’ve learned some piece of information, but we come to realize we struggle when we try to recall the answer. It’s precisely this “struggle” or challenge that improves our memory and learning – by trying to recall information, we exercise or strengthen our memory, and we can also identify gaps in our learning.

Note that cognitive scientists used to refer to retrieval practice as “the testing effect.” Prior research examined the fascinating finding that tests (or short quizzes) dramatically improve learning. More recently, researchers have demonstrated that more than simply tests and quizzes improve learning: flashcards, practice problems, writing prompts, etc. are also powerful tools for improving learning. 

Whether this powerful strategy is called retrieval practice or the testing effect, it is important to keep in mind that the act of pulling information “out” from our minds dramatically improves learning, not the tests themselves. In other words retrieval is the active process we engage in to boost learning; tests and quizzes are merely methods to promote retrieval.

 

 

Also on that site:

 

 

Learn more about this valuable book with our:

 

 

Also on that site:

 

 

Excerpt from the Interleaved Mathematics Practice guide (on page 8 of 13):

Interleaved practice gives students a chance to choose a strategy.
When practice problems are arranged so that consecutive problems cannot be solved by the same strategy, students are forced to choose a strategy on the basis of the problem itself. This gives students a chance to both choose and use a strategy.

Interleaved practice works.
In several randomized control studies, students who received mostly interleaved practice scored higher on a final test than did students who received mostly blocked practice.

 

 

 



From DSC:
Speaking of resources regarding learning…why don’t we have posters in all of our schools, colleges, community colleges, universities, vocational training centers, etc. that talk about the most effective strategies to learn about new things?



 

 

 

Microsoft’s meeting room of the future is wild — from theverge.com by Tom Warren
Transcription, translation, and identification

Excerpts:

Microsoft just demonstrated a meeting room of the future at the company’s Build developer conference.

It all starts with a 360-degree camera and microphone array that can detect anyone in a meeting room, greet them, and even transcribe exactly what they say in a meeting regardless of language.

Microsoft takes the meeting room scenario even further, though. The company is using its artificial intelligence tools to then act on what meeting participants say.

 

 

From DSC:
Whoa! Many things to think about here. Consider the possibilities for global/blended/online-based learning (including MOOCs) with technologies associated with translation, transcription, and identification.

 

 

Research roundup: 4 new reports on what’s working for blended-learning practitioners — from christenseninstitute.org by Luis Flores

Excerpt:

At the start of the year, we published a blog post on interesting research from 2017 related to innovative approaches to school design. Even though we aren’t even half-way through 2018, there are already several insightful reports on blended and personalized learning from this year that are worth highlighting.

These reports examined various tools and approaches to implement blended and personalized learning models, as well as the potential impact these models could have on students and teachers. From examining how schools implemented their models sustainably to recommending methods to best support teachers, these are informative reports for anyone interested in implementing blended and personalized learning models in their schools.

1. Digital math tool produces gains in student achievement
2. Personalized learning can be implemented sustainably
3. PD-rich blended-learning plans increase chances of success
4. Ensure that teachers create, and design strategies for, their goals

 

 

 

 

From DSC:
The simpler something is, the greater chance that it will be adopted. Think of HTML and how simple it was years ago for people to create and post their own web pages. I would argue that it was that level of simplicity that lead to the explosive growth of the World Wide Web. 

So when we look at what the term “flipped learning” or the “flipped classroom” is all about these days, I think we need to be careful that things don’t get too complex. Consider the growing complexity of the flipped classroom out at flr.flglobal.org/?p=417

Version 1.0 was easy to understand and therefore to implement. But Version 3.0 looks far less clear as to what we’re even talking about now. We need to find ways to keep it simple, if that’s possible. I realize that teaching and learning is messy, so I’m not sure it’s always possible to practice the KISS principle when we’re talking about pedagogies. But if we don’t try, we’ll have a harder time getting adoption in the future — because Instructional Designers, Teachers, Trainers, and Professors won’t even know what we’re talking about.

 

 

 

Robert Talbert gets at some of this too in his posting entitled, “Four challenges for flipped learning for the next five years.”  Below is an excerpt from that posting:

1. Build a standard operational definition of flipped learning.
One of the biggest challenges facing flipped learning is simply defining what it is. Several competing definitions, all with some overlap but also with nagging differences, are in use today, and this is making it all but impossible to conduct or interpret research on flipped learning or practice it with students. It’s to the point that if you hear an instructor say she uses “flipped learning”, you have to dig deeper to know what she really means.

So as the first challenge, and as a prerequisite to the others, I propose that somehow, we all come up with an operational definition of flipped learning that can serve as the standard for research and practice. I’ve already proposed my own. I’m not saying this should be the standard, but I think something like this could be the starting point. How will “we” decide on a standard, and who’s the “we”? I don’t know, but I think it will involve some group of people a high profile to lead the discussion and decide on one, and then start using it and labeling it as “the standard definition”.

Can other people use models of flipped learning, such as the in-class flipped model, that don’t conform to a standard definition? Sure. Who’s going to stop them? But we need a starting point

 

 

FLGI Publishes the Top 100 Educators Leading Flipped Learning in 2018
The Flipped Learning Global Initiative identifies the movement’s leading educators, administrators, and technologists worldwide

CHICAGO, April 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the Flipped Learning Global Initiative (FLGI), a worldwide coalition of educators, researchers, technologists, professional development providers and education leaders, announced the publication of the FLGI 100. The annual list identifies the top 100 K-12 educators who are driving the adoption of the flipped classroom around the world.  The list is compiled by the FLGI executive committee – led by Jon Bergmann, Chief Academic Officer and one of the pioneers of the flipped classroom movement. Educators from around the globe are represented, including Flipped Learning practitioners from Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, China, Taiwan, Spain, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Italy, Korea, Argentina, Iceland, Sweden, India and the United States. FLGI also identified the top 50 Flipped Learning leaders in higher education and the top 50 Flipped Learning administrators and tech coaches worldwide.

“The global Flipped Learning community continues to grow, introducing us to fresh ideas, new innovations, and emerging leaders. The 2018 FLGI Flipped Learning leaders lists include veterans from prior years, and many new names and faces. The FLGI 100 list, along with the two FLGI 50 lists, represent the practitioners who are showing us the connection between Flipped Learning, active learning, and world-class learners,” said Jon Bergmann.

The FLGI Flipped Learning leaders lists are updated annually, and all three lists are published in the April issue of Flipped Learning Review (FLR): the Flipped Learning 3.0 magazine. FLR is the first digital magazine dedicated to covering the ideas and people driving the global Flipped Learning movement. The issue features an insightful interview with one of the leading voices in the Flipped Learning community: Dr. Eric Mazur at Harvard University. Bergmann and Mazur discuss how Flipped Learning has evolved over the last decade and why group space mastery is the next frontier for this instructional model.  The April issue also includes the full list of global delegates participating in the project to establish international standards for Flipped Learning. The 2018 FLGI 100 list, the Bergmann/Mazur interview, and the global delegates lists are accessible at http://flr.flglobal.org/

About the Flipped Learning Global Initiative
The Flipped Learning Global Initiative, (FLGI), was created to support the rapidly expanding adoption of Flipped Learning all over the world in countries including China, Taiwan, Spain, UAE, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Italy, Korea, Argentina, Iceland, Sweden, India and the United States. FLGI aims to fill the growing global need for collaboration across borders in three domains: evolving best practices in Flipped Learning, research curation and distribution, and technology selection and implementation.

FLGI serves as a global hub for coordinating, orchestrating and scaling the key elements required to expand Flipped Learning successfully around the world.  FLGI is home to the Flipped Learning International Faculty, the Flipped Learning Innovation Center, the Flipped Learning Global Standards project, and Flipped Learning Review (FLR).

For more information, contact: Errol St.Clair Smith, Director of Global Development at 949-677-7381, 193454@email4pr.com or go to www.flglobal.org.

 


Also see this page, which states:

On Monday, April 16, 2018 The Flipped Learning Global Initiative (FLGI) will publish the 2018 FLGI 100. The annual list identifies the top 100 K-12 educators who are driving the adoption of Flipped Learning around the world.  The list is compiled by the FLGI executive committee, led by Jon Bergmann, Chief Academic Officer. Educators from around the globe are represented, including Flipped Learning practitioners from Italy, China, Taiwan, Spain, UAE, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Italy, Korea, Argentina, Iceland, Sweden, India, and the United States. The initiative also identified the top 50 Flipped Learning leaders in higher education and the top 50 Flipped Learning administrators and tech coaches.

 


 

 

 

Implications of Learning Theories on Instructional Design — from elearningindustry.com by Jon-Erik Oleyar-Reynolds
Are you interested in becoming an Instructional Designer? Or are you just starting out in the world of learning theories? The focus of this article is to inform the reader of 3 unique learning theories while discussing the implications they have had in the field of Instructional Design (ID).

Excerpt:

Behaviorist Learning Theory
Behavioral learning theory can be summarized as learning that occurs through the behavioral response to environmentally sourced stimuli. The foundation of this theory is built upon assumptions that “have little regard for the cognitive processing of the learner involved in the task”.

The focus of behavioral learning theory resides in the use of reinforcement to drive behavior. Instructional Design can benefit from the use of reinforcement as a means to train learners to complete instructional objectives that are presented to them.

Cognitive Learning Theory
The primary focus of learning is on the development of knowledge by the creation of schemas. Schemas are like catalogs of information that can be used to identify concepts or experiences through a complex set of relationships that are connected to one another. In short, the catalogs act like a database of knowledge for the learner. 2 prominent theories that will be discussed are Gestalt theory and information processing theory; these 2 have paved the way for cognitivism and its impact on the field of Instructional Design.

Information processing theory further supports cognitive learning theory. Similar to Gestalt theory, the focus of learning is on the individual. The processing of information by the learner is similar to the way a computer processes information. The memory system is broken into 3 stages based on this approach:

  • Sensory memory
  • Working memory
  • Long-term memory

…the working memory may require more rehearsal to establish a clear connection to the concept and store it in long-term.

One of the most widely used strategies could arguably be a rehearsal. The expression “practice makes perfect” may seem cliché, but it does fit very well when discussing cognition and development. As one rehearses, the working memory is exercised.

While working memory has a limit of 7 (plus or minus 2), creating a chunk of information increases the amount that can be worked with.

Instructional Design shifted in the presence of cognitivism and includes a more system-like design approach with a focus on the learners.

 

Social Learning Theory
Social learning theory focuses on the impact of learning based on factors related to the social environment. In other words, learning occurs in the context of a social situation that the learner is placed in.

Self-Efficacy
Think of the expression “perhaps it rubbed off on me”. This has a direct relationship to social learning theory. Self-efficacy can be influenced by the design of lessons that allow for learners to view others of similar ability succeeding at instructional tasks. This could be achieved in a number of creative ways, but generally is most effective in collaborative activities where learners work in small groups. Overall, self-efficacy is the belief that one can be successful at particular tasks.

Collaborative learning groups and the use of peer review are widely used in many settings in which learning occurs.

 

 

From DSC:
I wanted to briefly relay an example that relates to the Cognitive Learning/Processing Theory — and more specifically to a concept known as Cognitive Load.  The other day I was sitting at the kitchen table, trying to read an interesting blog posting. But at the very same time, the radio was (loudly) relaying an item re: Virtual Reality (VR) — which also caught my ear and interest.

Which “channel” do I focus on? My visual channel or my auditory channel?

For me, I can’t do both well — perhaps some people can, but our visual and auditory channels can only handle so much at one time. Both channels request our attention and processing resources. I ended up getting up and shutting off the radio so that I could continue reading the blog posting. But for me, I think of it like a traffic jam. There are only so many cars that can simultaneously get through that busy highway that leads downtown.

So another application of this is that it’s helpful NOT to have a lot of auditory information going on at the same time as a lot of visual information. If you have PowerPoint slides, use graphics, photos, and/or graphs and use your audio voiceover to speak to them…but don’t list a long paragraph of text and then simply read that text and then also ask the learner to absorb other visual information at the same time. 

 

 

 

PD is getting so much better!! — from cultofpedagogy.com by Jennifer Gonzalez

Excerpts:

 

 

1. Unconferences
2. Intentional professional learning communities (PLCs)
3. Choice Boards
4. Personal Action Plans
5. Voluntary Piloting
6. Peer Observation
7. Microcredentials
8. Blended Learning
9. Lab Classrooms

 

 

 
 

From DSC:
After reviewing the article below, I wondered...if we need to interact with content to learn it…how might mixed reality allow for new ways of interacting with such content? This is especially intriguing when we interact with that content with others as well (i.e., social learning).

Perhaps Mixed Reality (MR) will bring forth a major expansion of how we look at “blended learning” and “hybrid learning.”

 


Mixed Reality Will Transform Perceptions — from forbes.com by Alexandro Pando


Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Changing How We Perceive The World One Industry At A Time
Part of the reason mixed reality has garnered this momentum within such short span of time is that it promises to revolutionize how we perceive the world without necessarily altering our natural perspective. While VR/AR invites you into their somewhat complex worlds, mixed reality analyzes the surrounding real-world environment before projecting an enhanced and interactive overlay. It essentially “mixes” our reality with a digitally generated graphical information.

All this, however, pales in comparison to the impact of mixed reality on the storytelling process. While present technologies deliver content in a one-directional manner, from storyteller to audience, mixed reality allows for delivery of content, then interaction between content, creator and other users. This mechanism cultivates a fertile ground for increased contact between all participating entities, ergo fostering the creation of shared experiences. Mixed reality also reinvents the storytelling process. By merging the storyline with reality, viewers are presented with a wholesome experience that’s perpetually indistinguishable from real life.

 

Mixed reality is without a doubt going to play a major role in shaping our realities in the near future, not just because of its numerous use cases but also because it is the flag bearer of all virtualized technologies. It combines VR, AR and other relevant technologies to deliver a potent cocktail of digital excellence.

 


 

 

 

High-Tech, High Touch: Digital Learning Report and Workbook, 2017 Edition — from Intentional Futures, with thanks to Maria Andersen on Linkedin for her posting therein which was entitled, “Spectrums to Measure Digital Learning
Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Our work uncovered five high-tech strategies employed by institutions that have successfully implemented digital learning at scale across a range of modalities. The strategies that underscore the high-tech, high-touch connection are customizing through technology, leveraging adaptive courseware, adopting cost-efficient resources, centralizing course development and making data-driven decisions.

Although many of the institutions we studied are employing more than one of these strategies, in this report we have grouped the institutional use cases according to the strategy that has been most critical to achieving digital learning at scale. As institutional leaders make their way through this document, they should watch for strategies that target challenges similar to those they hope to solve. Reading the corresponding case studies will unpack how institutions employed these strategies effectively.

Digital learning in higher education is becoming more ubiquitous as institutions realize its ability to support student success and empower faculty. Growing diversity in student demographics has brought related changes in student needs, prompting institutions to look to technology to better serve their students. Digital courseware gives institutions the ability to build personalized, accessible and engaging content. It enables educators to provide relevant content and interventions for individual students, improve instructional techniques based on data and distribute knowledge to a wider audience (MIT Office of Digital Learning, 2017).

PARTICIPATION IN DIGITAL LEARNING IS GROWING
Nationally, the number of students engaged in digital learning is growing rapidly. One driver of this growth is rising demand for distance learning, which often relies on digital learning environments. Distance learning programs saw enrollment increases of approximately 4% between 2015 and 2016, with nearly 30% of higher education students taking at least one digital distance learning course (Allen, 2017). Much of this growth is occurring at the undergraduate level (Allen, 2017). The number of students who take distance learning courses exclusively is growing as well. Between 2012 and 2015, both public and private nonprofit institutions saw an increase in students taking only distance courses, although private, for-profit institutions have seen a decrease (Allen, 2017).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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