Spacing effects in real-world classroom vocabulary learning
Article first published online: 21 SEP 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Applied Cognitive Psychology
Volume 25, Issue 5, pages 763–767, September/October 2011
How to Cite
Sobel, H. S., Cepeda, N. J. and Kapler, I. V. (2011), Spacing effects in real-world classroom vocabulary learning. Appl. Cognit. Psychol., 25: 763–767. doi: 10.1002/acp.1747
- Issue published online: 20 SEP 2011
- Article first published online: 21 SEP 2010
As a primary goal, educators often strive to maximize the amount of information pupils remember. In the lab, psychologists have found efficient memory strategies for retaining school-related materials. One such strategy is the spacing effect, a memory advantage that occurs when learning is distributed across time instead of crammed into a single study session. Spaced learning is not often explicitly utilized in actual classrooms, perhaps due to a paucity of research in applied settings and with school-aged children. The current study examined the spacing effect in real-world fifth-grade classrooms. We taught 39 children unfamiliar English words using both massed and spaced learning. Five weeks later, we tested vocabulary recall. One-week spacing produced superior long-term retention compared to massed learning. This finding demonstrates that the spacing effect can be generalized to vocabulary learning in applied settings and middle-school-aged children. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.