An Efficient Method of Improving Learning and Memory


Learning is gaining knowledge or skills through experience, study, or teaching of educational concepts. Memory refers to the processes used to earn, store, retain, and later retrieve the information. There are three main procedures involved in memory: encoding, storage, and retrieval (Plass et al. 339). Recent improvements in the science of memory and learning have disputed common assumptions about how learning occurs. The latest work indicates that retrieval is vital for practical and durable long-term knowledge. Each time a memory is recovered, it becomes more obtainable in the future. It also aids people to introduce the consistent and composed mental representation of progressive ideas, the type of intense learning necessary to solve new problems and derive new conclusions (Plass et al. 339). Practicing retrieval has been proved to produce more understanding than engaging in other efficient encoding methods (Bae et al. 206). This concept is discussed in detail below to demonstrate that practicing retrieval enhances long-term, meaningful knowledge.

How to Establish Retrieval-Based Learning Practices

Despite having sophisticated tools that can apply to retrieval practices, these activities do not need specific technology or instruments. The purpose of recall-based studying is to take material that a person is attempting to learn, select, and take time to recover the data (Yeo et al. 73). This process can change the existing educational practice to retrieval-based studying activities (Yeo et al. 73). For example, responding to questions and handling exams are efficient methods to perform retrieval.

In some cases, learners might answer questions on the test of performing worksheets by referring to answers on their books instead of trying to recover the answers. The research compares open-book examination to closed-book requirements whereby learners need to recover the answers instead of despising them (Yeo et al. 73). Responding to questions in open-book conditions led to more incidences of forgetting after one week than recovering the answers and then studying them (Yeo et al. 73). This procedure implies that closed-book tests, which needed retrieval performance, were more efficient than an open-book test that did not require students to recover.

How Retrieval Contributes to Learning

An accomplished retrieval leads to an efficient learning process, therefore these two procedures correlate. Examination of the previous decades has proved that remembering contributes to learning, but the recent study has realized a replenished, refined concentration on exploring the advantages of recovery to education (Bhatore et al. 111). This study has determined that recurrent recovery improves learning with an extensive selection of materials in different contexts (Bhatore et al. 111). This concept includes students ranging from preschool ages to later adulthood.

Students learned several foreign language words, such as the Swahili word gari, which refers to a motor vehicle, across studying and recovery trials. In such study tests, learners saw a glossary word and its translation on the computer screen and retrieval examinations. Next, they saw vocabulary words and had to recover and type its translation (Khezrlou et al. 104). These students studied several glossary words, then tried to retrieve the entire list, looked at it repeatedly, and recovered it (Khezrlou et al. 104). There were several specific conditions in the test, in one requirement. First, learners studied the words without attempting to recall them. Then, in the second requirement, learners continued researching and recovering the words until they had remembered all of them (Khezrlou et al. 104). These steps confirm that accomplished retrieval leads to an effective studying process.

How Practicing Retrieval Promotes Meaningful Learning

The reason why retrieval performance is not widely applied is that recurrent recall may seem like rote learning. This concept is existent, poorly planned, and does not support the capability to transfer information, make conclusions, or solve new issues (Mullen & Carol, 186). The result of rote learning is not what learners and instructors aim for it. Proper studying is the opposite of rote studying as durable, unified, well planned, upholds transfer and problem solving (Mullen & Carol, 186). Examination of retrieval-based learning has boldly identified that recall activities advocate for practical knowledge.

Learning based on retrieval may be a more efficient way of attaining valuable studying than other famous active learning techniques. For example, learners studied educational information about science topics using one of the two techniques (Chen et al. 1). In retrieval performance requirement, students read some data, then selected and spent time remembering and noting down as much as they could recall from it. They then reread the information and remembered it a second time. In the second requirement, learners established concept maps as they read the data (Chen et al. 1). Conception maps are knot and connect drawings that require students to think about the organizational and irrational formation of materials (Chen et al. 1). Thus, the learners spent an equal amount of time studying the two requirements.


Retrieval is a learning occurrence, therefore performing it is a simple and efficient method to improve long-term, helpful studying. However, some operative learning techniques, like retrieval practice, are not utilized well. Alternatively, the most popular learning technic among college learners results in infinite levels of studying. Therefore, when performing retrieval, a person should recover more than once instead of summing them up together. Self-evaluation is an information check is a better idea, but people should not stop at just one accomplished retrieval. Performing more spaced recovery will cushion durable learning.


Bae, Christine L., et al. “Investigating the Testing Effect: Retrieval as a characteristic of Effective Study Strategies.” Learning and Instruction, 60, 1, 2019, 206-214.

Bhatore, Siddharth, et al. “Machine Learning Techniques for Credit Risk Evaluation: A Systematic Literature Review.” Journal of Banking and Financial Technology, 4, 1, 2020, 111-138.

Chen, Jun S., et al. “Using the Flipped-Classroom to Enhance EFL Learning.” Computer Assisted Language Learning, 301, 2, 2017, 1-21.

Khezrlou, Sima, et al. “Effects of Computer-Assisted Glosses on EFL Learners’ Vocabulary Acquisition and Reading Comprehension in Three Learning Conditions.” System, 100, 65, 2017, 104-116.

Mullen, Carol A. “Creative learning: Paradox or Possibility in China’s Restrictive Preservice Teacher Classrooms?” Action in Teacher Education, 40, 2, 2018, 186-202.

Plass, Jan L., et al. “Four Ways of Considering Emotion in Cognitive Load Theory.” Educational Psychology Review, 31, 2, 2019, 339-359.

Yeo, Darren J., et al. “The Optimal Learning Strategy Depends on Learning Goals and Processes: Retrieval Practice versus Worked Examples.” Journal of Educational Psychology, 111, 1, 2019, 73.

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