Retrieval practice is a powerful foundation for learning

Ok, retrieval practice improves learning. What's the big deal?

We occasionally get asked (and for good reason): What's with all this retrieval practice stuff? Do you talk about more than just retrieval practice? If you've been with us awhile (thank you!), you know that yes, we provide research, resources, and tips about all kinds of strategies based on the science of learning.

Even so, why retrieval practice? Read below about:

  1. How retrieval practice is a foundational strategy for learning

  2. Why retrieval practice is a powerful strategy for learning

Download our "cheat sheet" about key benefits from retrieval practice, including links to rigorous scientific research. Enjoy!

P.S. Have you downloaded our Make it Stick book club goodies yet?


Retrieval Practice is Foundational and Powerful


As you may have noticed, we spend a lot of time talking about retrieval practice – more than other strategies. Why is that? Well, it’s because we feel that retrieval practice is foundational. It serves as the basis on which we can add more strategies: spacing, interleaving, and feedback-driven metacognition. Without retrieval practice, these strategies improve learning; with retrieval practice, these strategies improve learning even more.

Retrieval practice is also powerful. A wealth of research demonstrates that retrieval practice improves learning for diverse students and subject areas. It's hard to take 100 years of research and condense it into a single image, but here's goes! Download our "cheat sheet" summarizing key findings from retrieval practice research, with links to scientific articles.


Top 3 Retrieval Practice Strategies

Every week, we share research, resources, and teaching strategies based on the science of learning. Here are our 3 most popular strategies that harness the power of retrieval practice and build on it with additional strategies including spacing, interleaving, and feedback.

Free Recall & Brain Dumps: A Small Strategy with a Big Impact

Boost Think-Pair-Share with Cognitive Science

Two Things: A Quiz No-Quiz Retrieval Strategy