EFFECTIVENESS OF DISTRIBUTED VS. MASSED PRACTICE FOR APPLICATION OF LEARNED CONCEPTS IN AN UNDERGRADUATE SPEECH ACOUSTICS COURSE
Loyola University Maryland (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN14 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Conference name: 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 7-9 July, 2014
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:A commonly held tenet in educational research is that concepts and skills are learned more effectively when training and practice are spaced rather than massed. That is, individuals learn best with shorter presentations and practice over time rather than one longer presentation and one extensive practice session. However, most studies investigating spaced training involve the presentation of one concept or skill. Fewer studies have investigated the learning and retention of several related concepts and the effect of spaced versus massed practice in application of these learned concepts over time. This investigation compares two undergraduate classroom experiences, one involving spaced practice and one involving massed practice. In both classroom experiences, the instructor presented students with the same concepts through a series of lectures throughout the semester. However, in the first class, students applied concepts presented by completing short labs in a spaced fashion, several times during the semester. In the second class, students applied all learned concepts at the same time by completing an extensive lab at the end of the semester. Students in both classes were then tested on the same material. Results indicate that spaced practice of concepts as they are learned is more effective for most students in learning several different, but related, concepts.
Keywords: Distributed practice, student learning, undergraduate education.