Scaling Effective Learning Strategies: Retrieval Practice and Long-Term Knowledge Retention in MOOCs

Daniel Davis, René F. Kizilcec, Claudia Hauff, Geert-Jan Houben

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Large-scale online learning environments such as MOOCs provide an opportunity to evaluate the efficacy of learning strategies in an informal learning context with a diverse learner population. Here, we evaluate the extent to which retrieval practice — recognized as one of the most effective learning strategies — facilitates long-term knowledge retention (and thus learning outcomes) among MOOC learners using an instructional intervention. We observed no effect on learning outcomes and high levels of treatment non-compliance. In addition, we conducted a series of exploratory studies into long-term recall of knowledge acquired in MOOCs. Surprisingly, both passing and non-passing learners scored similarly on a knowledge post-test, retaining approximately two-thirds of what they learned over the long term.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-41
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Learning Analytics
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Retrieval practice
  • testing effect
  • experiment
  • knowledge retention
  • learning outcomes

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