We call this Active Review, but others call it Active Recall. We think we are right because other authors contrast ‘Active Recall‘ with ‘Passive Review‘ which makes no sense! Karpicke and Roediger (2008: 968) studied the effect of testing on memory retention and found that re-studying or re-reading memorised information had no effect, but trying to remember it (through testing or self testing) did…
“Once information can be recalled, repeated encoding in study trials produced no benefit, whereas repeated retrieval in test trials generated large benefits for longterm retention.“
How do you do an Active Review?
Fundamentally, this is really easy; just don’t look at your notes until you have recalled everything you can. Try to remember as much of the material as possible without looking at it again:
- Picture your notes and any images you captured again in your mind.
- Re-run a movie at high speed.
- Speak it out loud (as if you were performing or giving a lecture)
- Run through a checklist of the kinds of things you make notes on (see Effective Notes)
… Only when you have recalled everything you possibly can; check your notes to see how well you did.
How does Revunote help?
- It’s design encourages you to recall the information before you check with Evernote.
- Karpicke, J. and Roediger, H. ‘The Critical Importance of Retrieval for Learning’, Science Magazine Vol 319, 15/02/2008