The current study investigated whether an instructional intervention can increase students’ self-regulated use of retrieval practice in a higher education classroom environment. A lab-experiment by Ariel and Karpicke (2017) revealed that strategy instructions improved students’ self-regulated use of retrieval practice and subsequent test performance. Our goal was to determine whether these effects generalize to a classroom environment using key concepts from marketing communication. We compared two student groups on their self-regulated use of retrieval practice using an online environment. An experimental group (n = 58) received strategy instructions on retrieval practice and a control group (n = 58) received neutral instructions. Instructions were provided during sessions 1 and 2; no instructions were provided in a third, transfer session, measuring self-regulated use of retrieval practice. In sessions 1 and 2, no significant differences between groups were found. In the transfer session, the experimental group tested themselves more (Hypothesis 1) and displayed a larger number of (correct) retrieval attempts per key concept (Hypothesis 2) than the control group. No correlations were found with performance (Hypothesis 3). With our experiment, we were able to take a first step in supporting students in their self-regulated use of retrieval practice in a classroom environment with complex materials.

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Contemporary Educational Psychology

Broeren, M.M.D.H.J, Heijltjes, A.E.G, Verkoeijen, P.P.J.L, Arends, L.R, & Smeets, G. (2020). Supporting the self-regulated use of retrieval practice: a higher education classroom experiment. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 64. doi:10.1016/j.cedpsych.2020.101939