The testing effect is the phenomenon that retrieval practice of learning material after studying enhances long-term retention more than restudying. We examined retrieval practice in primary school vocabulary learning in two experiments. Nine-year-old children studied word definitions and completed exercises according to three learning conditions: pure restudy, elaborative restudy or retrieval practice. Children in the pure restudy condition reread and partly copied the definitions. In the elaborative restudy condition children reread the definitions and connected semantically related words to the target words. Children in the retrieval practice condition recalled the words based on their definitions. Overall, on the fill-in-the-blank test after one week children in the retrieval practice condition outperformed children in the other conditions, but on the multiple-choice test there were no differences. Retrieval practice may be effective for primary school vocabulary learning, but there is uncertainty about the practical value and the magnitude of the retrieval practice effect.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Elaborative exercises, Memory, Retrieval practice, Testing effect, Vocabulary learning
Persistent URL,
Journal Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition
Goossens, N.A.M.C, Camp, G, Verkoeijen, P.P.J.L, Tabbers, H.K, & Zwaan, R.A. (2014). The benefit of retrieval practice over elaborative restudy in primary school vocabulary learning. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 2014(3), 177–182. doi:10.1016/j.jarmac.2014.05.003