This 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 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 took a first step in supporting students in their self-regulated use of retrieval practice in a classroom environment with complex materials.

Cognitive learning strategies, Higher education, Retrieval practice, Self-regulated learning,
Contemporary Educational Psychology
Department of Psychology

Broeren, M. (Marloes), Heijltjes, A.E.G, Verkoeijen, P.P.J.L, Smeets, G, & Arends, L.R. (2021). Supporting the self-regulated use of retrieval practice: A higher education classroom experiment. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 64. doi:10.1016/j.cedpsych.2020.101939