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Don’t Drill Succefully Recalled Items

August 27, 2009

I have explained what steps I use for my drills  (when I make mistakes) during SuperMemo repetitions on  a previous post: Drill is only for mistakes

After a couple of topic repetitions today (as promised by Incremental Reading) the theoretical basis of using the drill only for recall failures, came to me.

This is the quote from  the summary of a research article on this issue:

“Supplying the correct answer after an incorrect response not only improved performance during the initial learning session—it also increased final retention by 494%. On the other hand, feedback after correct responses made little difference either immediately or at a delay, regardless of whether the subject was confident in the response(Pashler, H., Cepeda, N.J., Wixted, J.T., & Rorher,. (2005) When does feedback facilitate learning of words? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. 31, 3-8.)

After testing the difference in recall success versus the time spend on repetitions I’m sticking with the following policy:

Do the Drill if you get more then 1.5 times the desired Forgetting Index (e.g. if your FI = 10% and you get more then 15% drill mistakes only!.

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