The testing effect refers to the higher probability of recalling an item resulting from the act of retrieving the item from memory ( testing ) versus additional study trials of the item. However, in order for this effect to be demonstrated the test trials must have a medium to high retrieval success. Logically if the test trials are so difficult that no items are recalled or if the correct answers to the non-recalled items are not given to the test subject, then minimal or no learning will occur. [ 1 ] This is by no means a new concept in the field of human memory, with the first documented empirical study occurring in 1917 by Gates. [ 2 ] The effect is also sometimes referred to as retrieval practice or test-enhanced learning .
Active recall is a principle of efficient learning , which claims the need to actively stimulate memory during the learning process. It contrasts with passive review, in which the learning material is processed passively (e.g. by reading , watching , etc.). For example, reading a text about George Washington , with no further action, is a passive review .
Free recall is a basic paradigm in the psychological study of memory . In this paradigm, participants study a list of items on each trial, and then are prompted to recall the items in any order (hence the name "free" recall). Items are usually presented one at a time for a short duration, and can be any of a number of nameable materials, although traditionally, words from a larger set, are chosen.
In the field of psychology , the spacing effect is the phenomenon whereby animals (including humans) more easily remember or learn items when they are studied a few times spaced over a long time span (" spaced presentation ") rather than repeatedly studied in a short span of time (" massed presentation "). Practically, this effect suggests that " cramming " (intense, last-minute studying ) the night before an exam is not likely to be as effective as studying at intervals in a longer time frame. Important to note, however, is that the benefit of spaced presentations does not appear at short retention intervals, in which massed presentations tend to lead to better memory performance. The phenomenon was first identified by Hermann Ebbinghaus , and his detailed study of it was published in the 1885 book Über das Gedächtnis. Untersuchungen zur experimentellen Psychologie ( Memory: A Contribution to Experimental Psychology ).
Anki , a computer program implementing spaced repetition. Spaced repetition is a learning technique that incorporates increasing intervals of time between subsequent review of previously learned material in order to exploit the psychological spacing effect . Alternative names include spaced rehearsal , expanding rehearsal , graduated intervals , repetition spacing , repetition scheduling , spaced retrieval and expanded retrieval . [ 1 ] Although the principle is useful in many contexts, spaced repetition is commonly applied in contexts in which a learner must acquire a large number of items and retain them indefinitely in memory.
A flashcard or flash card is a set of cards bearing information, as words or numbers, on either or both sides, used in classroom drills or in private study. One writes a question on a card and an answer overleaf. Flashcards can bear vocabulary , historical dates, formulas or any subject matter that can be learned via a question and answer format. Flashcards are widely used as a learning drill to aid memorization by way of spaced repetition . [ edit ] Use Flashcards exercise the mental process of active recall : given a prompt (the question), one produces the answer.