Research Apértif: Facts Before Higher-Ordered Learning?

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!

Summary of Article

  1. Higher-ordered thinking increases with higher-ordered retrieval practice
  2. Fact quizzes do not facilitate higher-ordered learning
  3. Robust strategies for fact learning and far transfer of knowledge (retrieval practice, spaced practice, interleaving)
  4. Retrieval practice works in a vast array of settings with diverse learners, and diverse content


Study combines 3 frameworks: Desirable Difficulties, Transfer Appropriate Processing, & Foundation of Factual Knowledge
Subjects: College psychology students, and middle school students


  1. Fact quizzing significantly increases final test fact question performance, but does not improve performance on higher-ordered questions
  2. Higher-ordered quizzing does not increase final test fact question performance, but does significantly increase performance on higher-ordered questions
  3. Mixed quizzes (fact & higher ordered) increase final test performance on both fact and higher ordered questions

Link to Article

Retrieval Practice & Bloom’s Taxonomy: Do Students Need Fact Knowledge Before Higher Order Learning?


Agarwal, P. K. (2019). Retrieval practice and Bloom’s taxonomy: Do students need fact knowledge before higher order learning? Journal of Educational Psychology, 111, 189-209.