5 examples of tech that can be used for retrieval practice

‘Retrieval practice’ (the testing effect) is the act of recalling information. Research suggests this approach, alongside spaced practice,  helps consolidate information into long-term memory.  In other words, a test can make the memory more secure and less likely to be forgotten. The effectiveness of ‘retrieval practice’ has been generally accepted but if you are like me, I get a little bored using the same activities. So if you like a bit of edtech and are looking for some fresh ideas, why not try some of the following:


1.Use a scrabble generator. The students will need to use the tiles with the topic you have given (go with a previous topic you have covered some time back) and let the students find keywords that are relevant. Extend it by asking for definitions or what they know during class discussion. The tech for this is really easy and can be saved for future use.

2. Sorting  games can be really good fun but appropriately challenging. I use Vortex at the front of my class and ask for volunteers to identify similar policies between Russian Tsars for instance. It is a low stakes approach because if they get it wrong, the information simply drifts back to the middle.  I create the games based upon previous learning to identify continuity and change over time.

3. If you like creating revision games then a good and free platform can be found on Quizzizz. This is really easy to set up and often, I will ask students to create them to share with other students as part of their revision. It gives the students an option to even practice the quiz before taking it and flashcards can be created for the quiz too!

4. Probably more suitable for younger learners, the new Educandy offers a new game creation service. It has cute little graphics and a range of gaming options including anagrams and matching games.

5. Purpose Games is a free platform for creating and or playing simple educational games. The service currently gives users the ability to create seven types of games. Those game types are image quizzes, text quizzes, matching games, fill-in-the-blank games, multiple choice games, shape games, and slide games. Great for uploading the links to your virtual learning environments. Why not get your students to create some games as part of their homework!

I use all of these pieces of tech alongside my revision cafe menu and podcasts to constantly revisit material. Do you have any examples you would want to share?