Science of learning: Interleaving (Long-term memory)

Interleaving means revisiting or reinforcing previous topics and switching between ideas. Rather than teaching topics as stand-a-lone, practice is distributed across multiple episodes.

Evidence suggests interleaving can support long-term memory in the following ways:

  1. Help pupils to see the links, similarities and differences between ideas more easily.
  2. Builds long-term memory since pupils are required to switch between topics and ideas.
  3. Helps pupils to distinguish between concepts and learn when to apply which strategy.
  4. Helps enhance memory retention (compared to reteaching

Rohrer, Dedrick, and Stershic, 2014 conducted an experimental study that measured pupil’s test scores according to whether they had been taught using an interleaved or blocked approach. They found a higher mean test score from the interleaved approach. When considering the 30 day test delay, the difference is much more significant, therefore demonstrating the impact of interleaving in supporting long-term memory.

It is important as teachers that we plan for and think carefully about interleaving opportunities. This will enable pupils to see the connections!

Here are some examples Interleaving_eg

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *