Retrieval Practice in Learning

Topic: Approach to Learning
Words: 585 Pages: 2

There are three main processes in human memory; storage, recalling (retrieval), and encoding. Teachers are highly involved in developing a methodology that will enable students to learn new things and remember. Retrieval practice is an effective method for learning as it helps students remember what they had previously known. The measure is an excellent methodology to start a class and break the ice. Retrieval practice prioritises active learning over passive as students strengthen their memory as they attempt to recall a particular concept (Hotta et al., 2018). Moreover it is significant as it reveals the gap in understanding and indicates what one is expected to review.

Education will not be as much effective if a person cannot recall what they had previously learned. Examples of retrieval practices to be carried out in the classroom include graphic organisers, maps, visuals, flashcards, activities like songs, and writing prompts (Ormrod, 2019). Songs can be a rather fun moment for the facilitator to introduce a lesson or be used as a warm-up for the next session. As for students to recall the information they have learnt, facilitators should involve them as this increases their understanding of a specific concept.

Retrieval practice is one of the learning and teaching methodology which is gaining approbation in institutions. As much as its concept is not something new to the people, there is still a lot of practice that has to be carried out through online and offline resources. Retrieval application is a confirmation-based learning method that guarantees new ideas develop into the old hat, unlike re-reading, which can surpass students having misapprehension of mastery (Ormrod, 2019). However, students prefer re-reading on top of retrieval even though the approach fails to ease long term retention. The reliance on re-reading can be generated because it creates an illusion of confidence in students. For instance, if a student re-read a passage, they feel they have mastered the concept while all they have was to farmilized themselves with the concept and the ordering of the words.

Retrieval practice, on the contrary, demonstrates its usefulness through better student results and a more rigid learning foundation. The method is a challenging process, but that’s the part that makes it work, as one has to be actively involved in getting the content. It is effective for students as it boosts their learning by pulling information out of their minds rather than when they are involved in cramming. Students remember then reflect using both retrieval practice and metacognition (Ormrod, 2019). For example, students may use a map to recollect what they had learnt in their previous lesson and then consider which parts of the map were difficult or easy to remember.

Summing it up, retrieval application is such an effective revision methodology. It requires students to remember what they had previously learnt, which creates more substantial memory traces and increases the probability of the information transference to long term memory. However, students are unaware of the significance of this method. The current research that was carried out on students who were found using this technique and were questioned on retrieval method effectiveness; they responded that medium was good at generating feedback rather than explaining that it helped them improve their memory retention. Therefore, we challenge the teachers to demonstrate and inform their students how practical the retrieval application is in their studies. For extensive prospering of students in the institution, facilitators should employ the retrieval method. There is no better tool to aid in student learning than the retrieval method.


Hotta, C., Kato, H., & Tajika, H. (2018). The effects of a lesson based on the jigsaw method introduced repeated retrieval learning for promoting students’ metacognition. Journal of Human Environmental Studies, 16(2), 111-120. Web.

Ormrod, J. E. (2019). Human learning (8th ed). Pearson Education

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