Research Apértif: Guided Retrieval Practice of Educational Materials Using Automated Scoring

According to, an apértif is a small drink of alcoholic liqueur taken to stimulate the appetite before a meal. This research apértif is likewise designed to stimulate your mind’s appetite.

If you enjoy the appetizer, click-through at the bottom of the page for the main course!

Background Research/Lit Review

1. Retrieval practice improves long-term simple learning (lists, word pairs) and long-term complex learning (concepts, inferential questions).
2. Retrieval practice improves performance on conceptual and inferential questions.
3. Retrieving an item successfully just two times produces large gains in long-term memory.
4. Low-stakes quizzing (retrieval practice) in/out of the classroom can improve performance.
5. Effectiveness of retrieval practice outside of the classroom depends on students’ ability to monitor and regulate their own learning. Students struggle to regulate their own learning!
6. Students are unaware of retrieval practice’s benefits.
7. Students do not choose repeated retrieval.
8. When students choose to study with retrieval practice, they cannot accurately assess if their answer is right or wrong. (They believe they retrieved a correct answer even when it was false!)

Experiments and Findings

1. Authors created QuickScore to automatically, objectively grade retrieval practice on human anatomy.
2. Experiments examined the effects of repeated study vs repeated retrieval.
3. Final test given after 2 days.
4. 68 Purdue undergraduate students participated.

Experiment 1a and 1b Findings

1. Performance topped off after 4th session for both repeated study and repeated retrieval (initial learning is ~the same rate)
2. For the final test (after 2 days), in both experiments, students in the repeated retrieval condition (70% correct) outperformed those in the repeated study condition (55% correct).
3. False negatives (wrongly marked incorrect by QuickScore) increased learning because it resulted in additional exposure & retrieval chances.
4. QuickScore is significantly better at assessing student performance than students themselves are.

Link to Article

Guided Retrieval Practice of Educational Materials Using Automated Scoring


Grimaldi, P. J., & Karpicke, J. D. (2013, June 24). Guided Retrieval Practice of Educational Materials Using Automated Scoring. Journal of Educational Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0033208

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