Karpicke, Butler, Roediger Extra

Karpicke, Butler, Roediger Extra - MEMORY, 2009, 17 (4),...

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Metacognitive strategies in student learning: Do students practise retrieval when they study on their own? Jeffrey D. Karpicke Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA Andrew C. Butler and Henry L. Roediger III Washington University in St. Louis, MO, USA Basic research on human learning and memory has shown that practising retrieval of information (by testing the information) has powerful effects on learning and long-term retention. Repeated testing enhances learning more than repeated reading, which often confers limited benefit beyond that gained from the initial reading of the material. Laboratory research also suggests that students lack metacognitive awareness of the mnemonic benefits of testing. The implication is that in real-world educational settings students may not engage in retrieval practise to enhance learning. To investigate students’ real-world study behaviours, we surveyed 177 college students and asked them (1) to list strategies they used when studying (an open-ended, free report question) and (2) to choose whether they would reread or practise recall after studying a textbook chapter (a forced report question). The results of both questions point to the same conclusion: A majority of students repeatedly read their notes or textbook (despite the limited benefits of this strategy), but relatively few engage in self-testing or retrieval practise while studying. We propose that many students experience illusions of competence while studying and that these illusions have significant consequences for the strategies students select when they monitor and regulate their own learning. Keywords: Testing effect; Retrieval; Metacognition; Strategies. A powerful way to enhance student learning is by testing information. When students have been tested on material they remember more in the long term than if they had repeatedly studied it. This phenomenon is known as the testing effect and shows that the act of retrieving information from memory has a potent effect on learning, enhancing long-term retention of the tested information (for review, see Roediger & Kar- picke, 2006a). The testing effect is especially striking in light of current findings showing limited benefits of repeated reading for student learning (see Callender & McDaniel, 2009; McDaniel & Callender, 2008). Our recent re- search has generalised the testing effect to educational materials (Butler & Roediger, 2007; Karpicke & Roediger, 2007, 2008; Karpicke, 2006b) and real-world classroom en- vironments (see McDaniel, Roediger, & McDer- mott, 2007). Testing enhances learning not only if instructors give tests and quizzes in the classroom but also if students practise recall while they study # Address correspondence to: Jeffrey D. Karpicke, Department of Psychological Sciences, Purdue University, 703 Third Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2081, USA. E-mail: karpicke@purdue.edu We thank Stephanie Karpicke and Julie Evans for collecting and scoring the questionnaire data. This research was supported by a
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Karpicke, Butler, Roediger Extra - MEMORY, 2009, 17 (4),...

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