Is Learning Enhanced by Conceptual Integration During Practice?
In this study, we examined whether retrieval practice promoting conceptual integration can improve test performance and self-assessment. Prior to testing, introductory psychology students received retrieval practice through their weekly lab sessions. Short-answer questions for practice exercises emphasized either single concepts or conceptual integration, whereas those for tests concerned individual concepts. During the first half of the semester, test performance was higher following practice focused on concepts than practice focused on conceptual integration. No difference existed during the second half. Performance was correlated with estimates before testing when practice emphasized individual concepts, but not conceptual integration. The transfer-appropriate processing framework offers an account for these data by suggesting that emphasis on conceptual integration might have fostered discrepancy between conceptual operations used for practice and those utilized for testing, affecting test performance.
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