Episode 31 - Bite-Size Research on Retrieval Practice and Complex Content

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Show Notes:

In our last episode, Yana interviewed Alexander Chamessian, an MD PhD student who has been consistently utilizing evidence-based learning strategies. In this bite-size research episode, Yana follows up with a study on retrieval practice with complex medical information.

In this study by scientists at a department of Health and Kinesiology (1), students taking an exercise physiology re-read or practiced retrieval practice on background texts and journal articles, and then took critical analysis and factual texts. The debate between John Sweller (2) and Jeff Karpicke (3) on whether retrieval practice works with complex materials can be found in this special issue.

The following table shows the phases in the experiment:

Image from Dobson, Linderholm, & Perez (2018)

Image from Dobson, Linderholm, & Perez (2018)

The main result can be found in this figure:

Image from Dobson, Linderholm, & Perez (2018)

Image from Dobson, Linderholm, & Perez (2018)


(1) Dobson, J., Linderholm, T., & Perez, J. (2018). Retrieval practice enhances the ability to evaluate complex physiology information. Medical Education52, 513-525.

(2) Van Gog, T., & Sweller, J. (2015). Not new, but nearly forgotten: the testing effect decreases or even disappears as the complexity of learning materials increases. Educational Psychology Review27, 247-264.

(3) Karpicke, J. D., & Aue, W. R. (2015). The testing effect is alive and well with complex materials. Educational Psychology Review27, 317-326.

Episode 32 - Attention, Learning, and Memory with Althea Kaminske

Episode 30 - Learning and Applying Medical Knowledge with MD PhD student Alexander Chamessian