When we think about learning, we typically focus on getting information into students’ heads. What if, instead, we focus on getting information out of students’ heads?
“Retrieval practice” is a learning strategy where we focus on getting information out. Through the act of retrieval, or calling information to mind, our memory for that information is strengthened and forgetting is less likely to occur. Retrieval practice is a powerful tool for improving learning without more technology, money, or class time.
On this website (and in our free Retrieval Practice Guide), we discuss how to use retrieval practice to improve learning. Established by nearly 100 years of research, retrieval practice is a simple learning technique that is easy to implement, with lasting results.
In order to improve learning, we must approach it through a new lens – let's focus not on getting information "in," but on getting information "out."
Click on the link below for a summary of our retrieval practice recommendations. Based on scientific research, we highlight how and when to use retrieval practice to improve learning. We encourage you to read additional sections of this website, including Book and Article Resources, FAQs, and Press & Testimonials for more information.
Typical learning strategies, where information comes to mind easily and feels “fluent,” only lead to short-term learning. Memory researchers have demonstrated that the opposite is true: just because we learn something quickly does not guarantee we’ll remember it. Click the link below to read more about the science behind retrieval practice.
In a short, easy to read Retrieval Practice Guide, we condense a wealth of research and information about the basics of retrieval practice, how it improves more than just the memorization of facts, and how to use retrieval practice. We hope the guide is a helpful resource as you implement retrieval practice in your teaching, studying, and learning.