Cumulative exams aren't the same as spacing and interleaving. Here's why.

Cumulative exams aren't the same as spacing and interleaving. Here's why.

Are cumulative exams the same thing as spacing or interleaving? Actually, not quite. Cumulative exams can be beneficial for learning. But there are also some subtle ways we can take cumulative exams to the next level – by ensuring that we (and our students) are using spacing and interleaving throughout the semester, not just before the exam.

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Interleaving is a roll of the dice (and that's a good thing!)

Interleaving is a roll of the dice (and that's a good thing!)

How can we use interleaving without planning? Last week, we wrote about interleaving (and fruit salad). The key to effective interleaving is to mix up similar topics, which encourages students to discriminate between similar ideas, concepts, and problems. This week, learn about quick and fun strategies for interleaving in the classroom that put students in charge – more learning for them, less planning for us.

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What do fruit salad and interleaving have in common?

What do fruit salad and interleaving have in common?

Interleaving is a powerful strategy that boosts learning by mixing up content students need to learn. Based on a wealth of cognitive science research, the challenge and "desirable difficulty" of interleaving can double exam performance compared to teaching content in "blocks" of the same concepts. But what's the secret to effective and fruitful interleaving? Mix similar topics. Read more about why and stay tuned for next week, when we'll share quick how to's.

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Download our Interleaving Practice Guide!

Download our Interleaving Practice Guide!

Based on a growing mountain of evidence, interleaving is a strategy that dramatically improves learning. In a nutshell: The way practice problems are arranged can dramatically affect student learning. Download our new Interleaving Guide and learn more.

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