Mark Roberts

How ‘spaced practice’ boosts pupil recall

Frustrated his pupils couldn’t remember facts from one year to the next, Mark Roberts turned to ‘spaced practice’

How to boost pupil recall using 'spaced practice'

I stared at my Year 11 class, baffled. These students had achieved so well in Year 10 English, but they had apparently already forgotten everything I’d taught them.

A quick recap quiz on Of Mice and Men – a text that they had scored high marks on in an assessment around 12 months earlier – revealed embarrassing knowledge gaps, including character names and basic plot points.

What had gone wrong? At first, I couldn’t work it out. But then I came across a 2013 study by Dunlosky et al (“Improving students’ learning with effective learning techniques”, Psychological Science in the Public ...

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