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Adult Learner > Strategies > Spaced Learning

Spaced Learning


Learning and studying information across multiple sessions that are spaced, or distributed in time, can promote learning and long-term retention of both basic and conceptually complex facts and concepts. Repeated review of the same material either through study or formative assessments across time can support learning of core components of adult literacies, as well as promoting application and transfer of learned skills.

Use It In Your Learning Environment

Instructors can incorporate a brief daily review of concepts that were learned earlier, provide assignments that re-expose students to previously learned information, or give quizzes that are cumulative. They can also support learners in spacing out their own learning by helping them plan their studying and by promoting the benefits of spaced learning- as it works best if it is the learner's preferred method of study. It is important to note that the quality of the initial encoding may determine the effectiveness and benefits of spaced learning through repetition. That is, If the learner does not correctly learn a concept initially, then further practice could unintentionally reinforce bad habits, misunderstandings, or misconceptions. Pairing spaced learning with immediate feedback could help reinforce accurate initial learning to maximize the benefit of spaced learning.

Product developers can design quick reviews of concepts and skills that have been introduced, and space practice across time to enhance retention. Products providing immediate feedback with each learning experience will support accurate understanding and effective spaced learning. Interleaving concepts when presenting new material during classroom or online instruction naturally creates spaced practice. When learners can repeat activities in products at any time, it allows them to create their own spaced learning while supporting Long-term Memory.