Background: There is evidence from neuroscience, cognitive psychology and educational practice that the delivery of information in a spaced format (i.e., presented over time with gaps) rather than in a massed format (presented all at once) leads to more effective learning even if the time spent on study is the same. This is known as spaced learning, or distributed practice. Methods: Cognitive psychology experiments have suggested that longer spacing intervals between repetitions of material (>24 hours) may be optimal for long-term memory formation. Whereas, the neuroscience suggests that shorter spaces (of around 10 minutes) may be beneficial. This information was used in a series of programme design workshops between researchers and teachers to develop three variants of a spaced learning programme with one utilising short 10 minute spaces one using longer 24hr spaces (and one using both short and longer spaces (10min/24hr combined). Results: All three variants were explored in four schools and found to be feasible to deliver. Feedback from the teachers and pupils was used to amend the programme materials, training and delivery method. Then, in order to identify the optimum version of the program, a randomised controlled trial of the three variants (with two control conditions) was conducted in 12 schools (n=408 pupils), which compared spacing effects to control conditions on pre-post science attainment measures. Conclusions: The trial found that the combined variant of the programme (10 minute and 24hr spaces) had a significant effect on attainment (effect size g=0.19). Implications and future research will be discussed.
|Publication status||Published - 04 Jun 2018|
|Event||EARLI - SIG 22 Neuroscience and Education conference 4-6 June 2018 - UK, London, United Kingdom|
Duration: 04 Jun 2018 → 06 Jun 2018
|Conference||EARLI - SIG 22 Neuroscience and Education conference 4-6 June 2018|
|Period||04/06/2018 → 06/06/2018|