Expert Dive: Teaching for Students to Remember

How can we support students in retaining course content so that they can demonstrate mastery on assessments and apply their learning in other contexts? Hear from Dr. Michelle Miller, a professor of psychological sciences and President’s Distinguished Teaching Fellow at Northern Arizona University, about practices you can implement to help students commit new knowledge to memory.


Why isn’t “reviewing” content helpful for our memories?

Ask Yourself: What’s one bit of knowledge you can recall from your own formal education? Why do you think you’re still able to remember it?


Why is coherence important to our memories, and what might instructors do to add coherence to the content they teach?

Ask Yourself: What strategies have you used to help students establish a coherent framework of course concepts? Have they been successful? Why or why not?



What are the benefits of using retrieval practice in low-stakes testing environments?

Ask Yourself: What are some benefits of retrieval practice? What are some strategies you currently use to help students retrieve knowledge in your courses?


What retrieval practice strategies might instructors integrate into their courses?

Ask Yourself: What is one retrieval practice strategy that you would like to add to your course? How do you think it will help students learn and retain more challenging concepts?


What is distributed practice, and how does it support long-term retention?

Ask Yourself: How might you teach students about distributed practice?


What is interleaving, and how might instructors use it?

Ask Yourself: Does interleaving seem relevant to students learning concepts in your discipline? If so, how might you incorporate interleaving into your teaching?


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