Annual Lecture - Testing your memory: The many consequences of retrieval on long term learning and retention

19 February 2020, 1.00 PM - 19 February 2020, 2.00 PM

Professor David Shanks, University College London (UCL)

2D3, Priory Road Complex, BS8 1TU

Memory tests do much more than simply permit an assessment of knowledge, they are learning events in their own right. In the classic testing effect, retention of tested material is enhanced. I report a meta-analysis revealing some of the moderators of this affect in educational settings. I then describe evidence that testing can have another powerful effect, namely to potentiate subsequent learning. The empirical evidence and putative mechanisms underlying this forward testing effect are described. I report experiments showing that the effect generalizes to a broad range of materials (e.g., vocabulary, text, concept learning), shows transfer across domains (a test on one form of material enhances learning of a different form of material) and test types (one type of test can facilitate performance on a different type of test), and is observed with a range of participant populations. Translating this research into classroom practice is greatly facilitated by online tools such as PeerWise, which I briefly describe. Deepening understanding of the many consequences of retrieval is beginning to have a significant impact on optimizing learning and teaching in educational settings.

This is a public lecture, hosted by the School of Psychological Science. The Annual Conwy Lloyd-Morgan Lecture recognises the contribution of a distinguished researcher who has made a significant contribution to psychological science. Recent speakers include Professor Vicky Bruce (2016/17), Professor Francesca Happe (2017/18), and Professor Robert Plomin (2018/19).

Contact information

Places are limited so registration is required, (free) tickets can be found here. The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception 2:00 - 3:00 pm.

Professor David Shanks, UCL

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