Weekly Digest #13: How Teachers Implement Retrieval in their Classrooms

Weekly Digest #13: How Teachers Implement Retrieval in their Classrooms

Over the last couple of weeks, our digests have focused on standardized testing. We published a digest of divergent views on standardized testing, and last week we published a digest about how to make standardized testing better. This week, we step away from testing for assessment and instead focus on how testing - or retrieval practice - can be used in the classroom to improve learning. If you've been reading our blog, you no doubt have noticed we talk a lot about retrieval practice as a way to promote learning. We have a concept map about retrieval practice, and a post describing the many benefits of retrieval practice.

This week, we provide five resources from teachers discussing the implementation of retrieval practice via quizzing in their classrooms. (Note: these teachers are using quizzing to help their students practice retrieval. However, retrieval can be produced in other ways. For an example, see this post for information about retrieval with concept maps.)

 If you're new to the idea of using retrieval practice to promote learning, you may want to check out one of our previous digests first: An Introduction to Retrieval Practice

 

1) Five Types of Quizzes That Deepen Engagement with Course Content by Maryellen Weimer, PhD

From collaborative quizzing in the classroom to reading quizzes to be completed at home before class, this article outlines a number of ways to use quizzing to promote learning. We especially like the references provided after each suggestion!

Image from linked post

Image from linked post

 
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Image from Twitter profile

Quizzing is great, but grading and providing feedback can take a lot of time. In this post, Terry McGlynn discusses how he uses ungraded quizzes in his classroom while still keeping his students motivated to answer the questions.

 
Image from Twitter profile

Image from Twitter profile

In this piece, Andy Tharby provides practical tips on helping students retain information for longer periods of time. About halfway down, he discusses retention tasks - our favorite!! This post focuses on GCSEs in language and literature in the UK. For the translation to American education, see this post.

 

4) Highlighting is a Waste of Time by Colleen Young, @ColleenYoung

The title of this one says it all. Colleen Young even provides a download to her "mini-test" file! She also links to collective memory resources from TES, and Bubbl'us mindmaping software. 

Image from linked post

Image from linked post

 
Image from Twitter profile

Image from Twitter profile

We have noticed that Julie Schell likes retrieval practice. In her post, how to help people remember what they learn, she described retrieval practice as a "game changer" for both teachers and students. In this piece, she takes her recommendation to the next level and describes how to flip your classroom using frequent quizzing.

If you're interested in flipped classrooms in general, Julie Schell seems to have written a lot on the topic on her blog, Turn to Your Neighbor!


Every Sunday, we pick a theme and provide a curated list of links. If you have a theme suggestion, please don’t hesitate to contact us! Our 5 most recent digests can be found here:

Weekly Digest #8: Study Tips for Students

Weekly Digest #9: How To Talk About Learning Styles

Weekly Digest #10: How to Grade Writing Assignments

Weekly Digest #11: Revisiting Standardized Testing

Weekly Digest #12: How To Make Standardized Testing Better

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