What exactly is active recall? - Deepstash
What exactly is active recall?

What exactly is active recall?

Active recall is the process of remembering information. It's an efficient way of moving information from short-term to long-term memory so that you can easily draw on it again when you need it most. Don’t just read, don’t reread, don’t just underline or highlight, close your eyes and try to recall without looking it up in your notes or online.

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What the research clearly shows

The researchers were able to conclude that the process of active recall rather than passive methods was the decisive factor for promoting correct recall from a student’s long-term memory.

By using interactive methods, information can be transferred from short-term to long-term memory storage.

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2. Recall

This is the step where you focus on remembering without using any additional notes or tools, drawing only on your memory. It is also where many of us struggle the most because we don’t often practice how to actually commit information to our memory. This is recall.

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1. Review

For example, if you ask your students: In what year was the Enabling Act passed? They probably wouldn’t be able to answer that without first being able to identify what the Enabling Act is and where that actually fits into the bigger picture. So out come the Germany notes to get a bit of context. This is reviewing.

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Is there evidence that it actually works?

One of the studies most often cited supporting the effectiveness of active recall is The Critical Importance of Retrieval for Learning, the results were:

  • Students who used active recall were able to remember about 80% of the new terms.
  • The active recall group’s success rate again outshone the others by a margin greater than 50%.

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Active recall vs passive review

Active recall works because it is based on the principle that in order to learn and remember your material, you need to stimulate your brain to recall something from your long-term memory.

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The Lost Wisdom

It happens all the time. You read an amazing book, one so packed with wisdom that you think it’s going to change your life forever. Then…it doesn’t. Why? Because when you’re finally in a situation where you could use its insights, you’ve completely forgotten them. Time is our most valuable resource, so we shouldn’t waste it. The investment we make in reading should have a positive, lasting impact on our lives.

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Reading Onscreen Vs On Printed Text

Most schools and colleges have gone completely digital with professors and teachers abandoning textbook assignments in favour of multimedia coursework and digital text.

However, studies show that reading several pages of text on printed paper is more effective than on the screen. Printed text reading improves the recall of minor details and also the understanding of the core content.

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