Interleaving: Variety is the Spice of Learning

3-Star learning experiences

Paul A. Kirschner & Mirjam Neelen

interleaving 1

Last year, we wrote a blog on spaced learning and right before summer, we published one on retrieval practice. Both strategies are proven to be very effective for learning. There’s a third one that falls into the ‘effective learning strategy’ category –it’s evidence-informed – and that’s interleaving. And, no surprise probably, that’s what this blog is about. 😊

Two scenarios to paint the picture; one in an educational context, one in a workplace context.

interleaving 2Education – You, as the teacher, have taught a lesson or given your students a piece of text that they need to learn. Hopefully, they’ve learned the content of the lesson or the text and now they’re ready for the next step: practice. What we usually see is what we call ‘crammed practice’ or ‘massed practice’, meaning that students practice something repeatedly until they know it or until get…

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