Pop quizzes are one of only two effective study methods, according to a 2013 study*. The distributed practice of pop quizzes provides the advantage of recalling and using the appropriate information. Immediate correction is especially helpful.
Surprisingly, not especially useful are: highlighting, underlining, rereading, and summarizing. Not too much better: mental imagery, asking “why?” while reading, self-explanation, and mixing up information. These conclusions were produced by five researchers who evaluated ten different study habits for the American Psychological Association.
The other effective study practice is using flash cards. Flash cards can provide immediate correction so that the brain avoids learning wrong information that has to be relearned correctly. Relearning is more difficult and time-consuming. A professor once told me that relearning a correct response requires over 1,000 correct repetitions if it was learned incorrectly.
Years of working with struggling readers leads me to believe in this research. The need to provide extra, distributed practice with immediate correction is clear. All products in the Reading Spotlight Store strive toward doing this, but in a fun way. My life’s work! Be sure to check this new product: