How Should Students Study? Essay
Learning is a challenging process and learning habits have always been an intriguing topic for researchers, but this topic is the greatest concern to us, the students. Students learn a variety of things in a limited time, and they would benefit from the so-called learning strategies. It appears that how information is presented not only changes what we have learned but also affects how well we have acquired it. Thus, I am going to talk about two learning strategies – the spacing effect and the interleaving effect.
The Spacing Effect
The concern here is whether, when learning a novel concept, we should immediately repeat what we have learned or wait for a while and then restudy it. A typical research design of spacing has three steps. First, you study the information once and then take a break: the spacing gap. Then, in the second phase, you study the same information again. After another period of time, which is called the test delay, the subject undergoes a final test related to the information he or she has studied. When the spacing gap is greater than zero, the exposures are referred to as ‘spaced.’ So, in spaced practice, you study the material for the same amount of time with breaks in between. When the spacing gap is equal to zero, the information occurs immediately and this is called ‘massed’ practice. It appears that spaced practice has more long-term benefits and higher recall probability, particularly in educational contexts.