A collection of retrieval practice research and resources …


As the author of a book solely dedicated to retrieval practice I often get asked questions by teachers, students and parents about this teaching and learning strategy. People are also keen to discuss retrieval practice with me and share classroom resources that they have used for recall, whether that be one of my original ideas or they have created their own. I am obviously very interested in this area of cognitive psychology and as part of the writing process for my book I carried out a significant amount of reading and research. During these conversations about retrieval practice I often reference and share the works of others so I have decided to put all those suggestions and recommendations in one place, here on my blog!

An amazing infographic created by science teacher Grace Hudson @MissH_biology after reading my book.

Below I have curated various resources connected to retrieval practice that can be useful for teachers as part of their professional learning and classroom practice in addition to sharing materials aimed at supporting students and parents too (as it is very important they are also well informed about the science of learning).

I’ve included links to academic research, websites, blogs, classroom resources, videos, podcasts and online courses all linked to developing further knowledge, understanding, and implementation of retrieval practice. If there is anything that I have not included but you think I should add then please do let me know as I can continually update this retrieval practice collection. I hope people find this useful!

Research …

Retrieval practice is just one piece of a complex puzzle when it comes to teaching and learning … taken from my book Retrieval Practice: Research and Resources for every classroom.

Retrievalpractice.org – If you’re keen to learn more about retrieval practice then I would suggest exploring this site. This website was created by cognitive scientist, author, and educator Dr. Pooja K Agarwal.

The Learning Scientists are incredible. Their aim is to promote the science of learning. They have six study strategies that they focus on, retrieval practice being just one of the six –  click here for retrieval practice materials by the learning scientists.

Strengthening the Student Toolbox: Study Strategies to boost learning by Professor John Dunlosky et al (2013) is the research summary that I have referred to the most and shared widely both online and within my school community. Do check it out, if you haven’t already.

When reading academic research about retrieval practice one of the main researchers and cognitive scientists I kept coming across was Jeffrey D Karpicke. I have selected links to just some of his work about retrieval practice/the testing effect – there is much more I could include!

Test-Enhanced Learning Taking Memory Tests Improves Long-Term Retention Henry L. Roediger, III, and Jeffrey D. Karpicke. 2006.

Retrieval-Based Learning: Active Retrieval Promotes Meaningful Learning. Jeffrey D Karpicke. 2012.

A powerful way to improve learning and memory. Jeffrey D Karpicke. 2016.

Retrieval-Based Learning: Positive Effects of Retrieval Practice in Elementary School Children J.Karpicke, J. Blunt, and M.Smith 2016.

Reflections on the Resurgence of Interest in the Testing Effect Henry L. Roediger, III1, and Jeffrey D. Karpicke. 2018

Ten benefits of testing and their application to educational practice.

Daniel T Willingham:

Ask the Cognitive Scientist: What will improve a student’s memory?

Ask the Cognitive Scientist: Should Teachers Know the Basic Science of How Children Learn?

Why Don’t Students Like School? Because the Mind Is Not Designed for Thinking.

The work of Rosenshine isn’t restricted to retrieval practice but regular review and recall is an important aspect of the key principles. Rosenshine – Principles of Instruction.

The Testing Effect is Preserved in Stressful Final Testing Environment

How much do college students with ADHD benefit from retrieval practice when learning key-term definitions?

Putting Students on the Path to Learning: The case for fully guided instruction

UCLA Bjork Learning and forgetting lab

The Benefits of Retrieval Practice Depend on Item Difficulty and Intelligence.

The Chartered College of Teaching has also curated lots of research and articles about retrieval practice for members and you can find it in the CCT – Retrieval Practice CPD pack.

Resources for the classroom …

All of the links to templates I have shared below are free. The majority of the resources below are taken from my book but are very self-explanatory and can be adapted and used across all subjects and age ranges.

Infographic created by https://www.impact.wales/

Retrieval Practice Challenge Grids – you can read my blog post here, explaining how to use this resource with lots of examples and you can download the template here.

Cops and Robbers

Retrieval relay race

Retrieval Practice Placemat

Keyword Spotlight – vocabulary retrieval task

Vocabulary 6×6 grid

Retrieval revision bookmark

Quizizz – my recent blog post explaining why I think this is the best digital tool for online retrieval practice.


Plickers and a useful video explanation about how to use Plickers in the classroom.



Flashcards – another blog post from my site, explaining how flashcards can be used for effective retrieval and spaced practice.

Retrieval revision clock

Retrieval Roulette by Adam Boxer and the new website to assist this strategy in the classroom Carousel Learn ,although I have yet to try this website.

Retrieval practice templates

Retrieval starters

Retrieval practice ideas

Powerful Teaching resources and downloads

Effective strategies study guide – a booklet I created for students and parents about different study strategies including retrieval practice. I have removed school branding so feel free to share and distribute at your school freely.

Blog posts

I love reading educational blogs – they are often quick and easy to access plus so many authors (myself included) are blogging too. Blogs are free to read and my favourite type of blogs are from the teachers reflecting and sharing classroom practice.

Retrieval practice: The myths versus reality

Online learning and retrieval practice …

Tom Sherrington  – 10 Techniques for Retrieval Practice

Efrat Furst has a great website Teaching with learning in mind.

Blake Harvard is an American educator that has written a series of blogs about evidence-informed learning. His retrieval posts can be found here.

Class Teaching – Find the bright spots is a superb blog by Durrington School in the UK. All the retrieval practice posts written by teachers on this blog can be found here.

David Rodger Goodwin Retrieval practice and the art of schema building and Retrieval practice for higher-order thinking.

Adam BoxerHow to not screw up retrieval practice and Retrieval, workload and pedagogical content knowledge.

Dawn Cox  – Why a third of every lesson is retrieval practice and How to learn keywords & quotations – weekly retrieval

Shotton Research School – Getting the detail right: the case of retrieval practice

Mark EnserRetrieval practice: five new tips to make learning stick.

Damian BenneyOptimal time for spacing gaps and Retrieval practice, retrieval roulette, schema, spacing, and even a nod to Rosenshine.

Don’t Reread, Retrieve: The Benefits of Retrieval Practice

English teacher Tom Needham has a series of very good blog posts about retrieval practice:

Low stakes quizzing and Retrieval Practice Part 1

Low stakes quizzing and Retrieval Practice Part 2

Low stakes quizzing and Retrieval Practice Part 3

Low stakes quizzing and Retrieval Practice Part 4

Low stakes quizzing and Retrieval Practice Part 5: Extended Quizzing

Ben Newmark – Nothing new, it’s a review on why I killed my starters

Tom Johnson science teacher and senior leader ( he also featured in my retrieval practice book as a case study) –

20 ideas for student-led retrieval practice

10 ways to embed retrieval practice into your lessons

Mid topic retrieval quizzes to aid metacognition

10 strategies to involve parents in retrieval practice

TES Tod BrennanThe fine art of the multiple-choice question

Professor Rob Coe – Does research on retrieval practice translate into classroom practice?

Impact. Assessment as learning: The role of retrieval practice in the classroom.

A series of posts about retrieval practice from the Teach Like a Champion blog can be found here.

3 Star Learning Experiences – An evidence-informed blog for learning professionals

Science of Learning: Research into practice – Retrieval Practice. The five things you need to know.

Teacher Toolkit – Cognitive skills grow rusty over time

Inner drive – This website is absolutely fantastic as there are free infographics you can download as well as lots of useful blogs for teachers to read. I have included links to the retrieval practice blogs below:

What you need to know about retrieval practice

How to actually use retrieval practice

Improving metacognition with retrieval practice 

The impact of retrieval practice on cognitive load

Useful videos for teachers …

Useful videos for students and parents …


Podcast episodes …

Jennifer Gonzalez – The cult of pedagogy:

Retrieval Practice: The Most Powerful Learning Strategy You’re Not Using

Interview with Make It Stick author Peter Brown

6 Powerful Learning Strategies You MUST Share with Students

The Ripple tank by Mark Cheney – Retrieval Practice proving you really know it

Teaching in HigherEd:

Robert Bjork on using cognitive psychology to enhance learning

Retrieval Practice with Pooja Agarwal

The Learning Scientists podcast:

Retrieval Practice

Bite-sized research on spaced retrieval

The application of research with Dr. Pooja Agarwal

Bite-sized research on attention and retrieval practice

Bite-sized research on retrieval practice formats

Teacher Toolkit Podcast: Unlocking the benefits of retrieval practice

Naylor’s Natters Podcast – Powerful Teaching with Patrice Bain

From page to practice podcast – Retrieval Practice ( a review of my book from readers around the world)

My podcast isn’t entirely dedicated to retrieval practice but there are episodes I have spoken about this – Love To Teach podcast.

I have also been interviewed on podcasts to discuss retrieval practice you can listen to my latest interview with Inside the Classroom – Retrieval Practice with Kate Jones.

Online courses & webinars

Seneca Learn has a free online course about retrieval practice based on my book. You can sign up to complete this course and find out more here.

Inner drive online academy have a range of courses for teachers based on the science of learning. This is not free but it is cheap at £7 (your school should certainly be willing to pay that for such a high quality course!). I have completed several courses and it is very good. The retrieval practice online course can be accessed here.

Future Learn – Optimising learning using retrieval practice. I haven’t compelted this course but it was recommended to me.

Finally, of course, if you want to read a book specifically about retrieval practice then you can read my book published with John Catt. Do let me know if you would like me to add your blog, podcast, resource or video about retrieval practice as I am happy to do so. Kate

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