What do students think about retrieval practice?
Just ask them. Yes, it's that simple.
Here's how my college students reacted yesterday when I asked them about retrieval practice. (Spoiler alert: They love them – and literally ask for more.)
P.S. Join me for workshops on Powerful Teaching in Chicago and St. Louis this summer!
Students love retrieval practice!
I teach college students at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. (No, I'm not a musician. I teach undergraduate musicians about the fascinating world of psychological science, cognitive science, and neuroscience.)
At the start of class each week, students complete a retrieval practice – all short answer, only 2% of their grade each. (I've written more about my own approach here and also in my new book, Powerful Teaching. I practice what I preach!)
Below is a photo of what retrieval practice looks like in my classroom. Does it look like students are taking a test? Yes. Are they actually taking a test? No!
Yesterday, out of curiosity, I asked my summer students this question:
"Do you think our weekly retrieval practices are helping you remember information from class? Why or why not?"
Here are a few thoughts my students shared:
Definitely! Exploring in my own words is really useful!
I internalize things better when I'm engaged and retrieval practice gives extra value to the information I learn.
I was just telling my roommate about them and how I wish all my classes did them.
Power Up with Powerful Teaching
ICYMI, here's a roundup of all of the buzz about the book Powerful Teaching:
New templates available for download
Book review in the Learning & the Brain blog
Nearly 400 educators in our Facebook group
Hundreds of classroom examples on Twitter at #powerfulteaching