About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 1573 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-6957-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2017.0493

Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain

USING SPACED LEARNING FOR SECONDARY SCIENCE EXAM REVISION: A DESIGN AND FEASIBILITY STUDY OF THE SMART SPACES PROGRAM

L. O'Hare1, P. Stark1, C. McGuinness1, A. Thurston1, A. Biggart1, A. Gittner2

1Queen's University Belfast (UNITED KINGDOM)
2Stocksbridge High School (UNITED KINGDOM)
Background:
There is evidence from neuroscience, cognitive psychology and educational practice research that the delivery of information in a spaced format (i.e., presented over time with gaps) rather than in a massed format (presented all at once) leads to more effective learning even if the time spent on study is the same. This phenomenon is known as spaced learning, spacing effect or distributed practice.

Aim:
This project’s aim was to design and explore the feasibility of a UK national General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) science revision program, which uses a spaced learning framework. It was intended that a range of instructional materials and several program variants (using various spacing lengths) were designed. The feasibility of these materials and variants were then explored in regular classrooms with the aim of producing a program called SMART Spaces that could be trialed in a future large randomised controlled trial (RCT) evaluation study.

Design:
There were two phases to this research. Initially, program design workshops between researchers and practitioners (teachers) were held to develop a logic model for a secondary science revision program using a spaced learning format. This was followed by a qualitative feasibility study which saw program materials and several variants of program, based on the logic model derived in the first phase, piloted in schools to see if they were feasible to deliver.

Methods:
The design study began with an extensive literature review. Evidence from this review was combined, with program development experience from the research team and spaced learning classroom experience from the practice team, to produce a draft program logic model. A pilot study (in 4 schools) using pupil workshops and teacher interviews were carried out to examine the program’s feasibility, teacher fidelity to the materials and student engagement with the program. Data collected was fed back into further design workshops to improve the program’s training and delivery model.

Results:
The literature found that cognitive experiments suggest that longer spacing intervals between repetitions of material (>24 hours) may be optimal for long term memory formation. Whereas, neuroscience literature suggests that shorter spaces (of around 10 minutes) may be beneficial. As a result, three variants of a spaced learning program were designed with one utilizing short spaces (10 minute variant) one using longer spaces (24hr variant) and one using both short and longer spaces (10min/24hr combined variant). All three versions were found feasible to deliver and feedback from the teachers and pupils was used to amend the program materials, program training and delivery method for future implementation and study.

Conclusions:
The refined variants of the program are suitable be a larger trial exploring their relative effectiveness with the most effective being the proposed future model of SMART Spaces. Overall, the paper uses this research project as an example to demonstrate the benefits of conducting pilot work and small scale feasibility studies to inform the design of educational interventions, rather than prematurely moving to large RCT type studies of educational programs or going to large scale implementation.
@InProceedings{OHARE2017USI,
author = {O'Hare, L. and Stark, P. and McGuinness, C. and Thurston, A. and Biggart, A. and Gittner, A.},
title = {USING SPACED LEARNING FOR SECONDARY SCIENCE EXAM REVISION: A DESIGN AND FEASIBILITY STUDY OF THE SMART SPACES PROGRAM},
series = {10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-6957-7},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2017.0493},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2017.0493},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {1573}}
TY - CONF
AU - L. O'Hare AU - P. Stark AU - C. McGuinness AU - A. Thurston AU - A. Biggart AU - A. Gittner
TI - USING SPACED LEARNING FOR SECONDARY SCIENCE EXAM REVISION: A DESIGN AND FEASIBILITY STUDY OF THE SMART SPACES PROGRAM
SN - 978-84-697-6957-7/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2017.0493
PY - 2017
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2017
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2017 Proceedings
SP - 1573
EP - 1573
ER -
L. O'Hare, P. Stark, C. McGuinness, A. Thurston, A. Biggart, A. Gittner (2017) USING SPACED LEARNING FOR SECONDARY SCIENCE EXAM REVISION: A DESIGN AND FEASIBILITY STUDY OF THE SMART SPACES PROGRAM, ICERI2017 Proceedings, p. 1573.
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