Spaced Repetition / Interleaving Practice - Technology tools?

Hi all,
I’m wondering if anyone has tried to use technology tools (i.e., Moodle, software tool) to employ spaced repetition & interleaving practice? As in, tools that can track when students respond correctly, and extend the spacing of repetitions of those items, versus items that aren’t correctly answered.
I’m specifically looking at teaching vocabulary, although I’m sure other applications would be helpful to learn from.
Thanks!

1 Like

Would checking out our Read 180 or System 44 resources be of any help?

Speaking from the Moodle perspective, the easiest way to achieve this would be to generate the questions for your various categories (e.g. beginner, intermediate, advanced) and then write the text of the questions. We could have one of our NSO EAs generate the XML file for Moodle to create the actual questions.

Then, create a quiz with your intro level questions, then we could set quizzes with multiple attempts and conditional access. If a student gets a particular grade then one quiz opens up, if they get a different grade then a different quiz opens up.

The subsequent quizzes could then pull terms randomly from the question banks. The beginner level quizzes would pull more questions from the intro level and the more advanced quizzes would give them more questions from higher levels.

Does any of that sound like what you’d want?

1 Like

I read a really good book on the history and many years of research that speaks to the value of spaced repetition/interleaving: Make It Stick: The Science Of Successful Learning, by Peter C. Brown

I’d recommend this book because it is an easy read and contains practical ways for teachers to begin incorporating these strategies into their formative assessments.

That is a fantastic book, Chad! I’m so glad you recommended it to me.
If academic journals are your thing, there’s also a short literature review of the research on these concepts, as well as some of the hurdles to implementation, available at this link.
Jon, I would love if we could do something like this in Moodle. The idea would be to get as close as possible to having the spacing of repetitions be at the individual word level, with the spacing dynamically changing for each student, depending on that student’s success on previous repetitions. I realize we probably can’t go full algorithm-driven dynamically spaced repetitions in Moodle, but if there’s a way to hack something reasonably close to that, it’d be a big step forward. I think we have a meeting coming up on Monday to talk about MAZE passages in Moodle, so maybe we can take a few minutes to connect on this idea then?
Thanks!

1 Like

Ha! I was picking a new book to read last night and wavered between Making it Stick and The Secret of the Highly Creative Thinker. I went with the latter, but Making it Stick is one book closer to the top of my pile now. :slight_smile:
For more on the topic, I might recommend Coursera’s Learning How to Learn course. It’s a fairly short course (maybe 5-10 hours?) that can bring you up to date on the latest brain research about how the mind learns. I especially have enjoyed the supplemental readings in the course, as the core content, while enjoyable, is a touch basic.

1 Like