Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41539-021-00110-x
Title: Interleaved practice enhances memory and problem-solving ability in undergraduate physics
Authors: Samani, Joshua
Pan, Steven C 
Keywords: Social Sciences
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Education & Educational Research
Neurosciences
Psychology, Experimental
Neurosciences & Neurology
Psychology
CATEGORY
ACQUISITION
BENEFITS
Issue Date: 12-Nov-2021
Publisher: NATURE PORTFOLIO
Citation: Samani, Joshua, Pan, Steven C (2021-11-12). Interleaved practice enhances memory and problem-solving ability in undergraduate physics. NPJ SCIENCE OF LEARNING 6 (1). ScholarBank@NUS Repository. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41539-021-00110-x
Abstract: We investigated whether continuously alternating between topics during practice, or interleaved practice, improves memory and the ability to solve problems in undergraduate physics. Over 8 weeks, students in two lecture sections of a university-level introductory physics course completed thrice-weekly homework assignments, each containing problems that were interleaved (i.e., alternating topics) or conventionally arranged (i.e., one topic practiced at a time). On two surprise criterial tests containing novel and more challenging problems, students recalled more relevant information and more frequently produced correct solutions after having engaged in interleaved practice (with observed median improvements of 50% on test 1 and 125% on test 2). Despite benefiting more from interleaved practice, students tended to rate the technique as more difficult and incorrectly believed that they learned less from it. Thus, in a domain that entails considerable amounts of problem-solving, replacing conventionally arranged with interleaved homework can (despite perceptions to the contrary) foster longer lasting and more generalizable learning.
Source Title: NPJ SCIENCE OF LEARNING
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/228342
ISSN: 20567936
DOI: 10.1038/s41539-021-00110-x
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