A Design & Feasibility Study of the Spaced Learning Programme

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Objectives There is evidence from neuroscience, cognitive psychology and educational research that the delivery of a stimulus in a spaced format (over time) rather than a massed format (all at once) leads to more effective learning. This project aimed to pilot spaced learning materials using various spacing lengths for GCSE science by exploring the feasibility of introducing spaced leaning into regular classrooms and by evaluating teacher fidelity to the materials. The spaced learning methods will then be compared with traditional science revision techniques and a programme manual will be produced. Design A feasibility study. Methods A pilot study (4 schools) was carried out to examine the feasibility and teacher fidelity to the materials, using pupil workshops and teacher interviews. A subsequent random assignment experimental study (12 schools) will involve pre and post testing of students on a science attainment measure and a post-test implementation questionnaire. Results The literature review found that longer spacing intervals between repetitions of material (>24 hours) may be optimal for long term memory formation than shorter intervals. A logic model was developed to inform the design of various programme variants for the pilot and experimental study. This paper will report qualitative data from the initial pilot study. Conclusions The paper uses this research project as an example to explain the importance of conducting pilot work and small scale experimental studies to explore the feasibility and inform the design of educational interventions, rather than prematurely moving to RCT type studies.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016
EventBritish Psychological Society Northern Ireland Branch Annual Conference -
Duration: 04 Mar 201606 Mar 2016


ConferenceBritish Psychological Society Northern Ireland Branch Annual Conference


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