Tag Archives: Interleaving

Blog of the Week: 5 April 2019 – Structured revision lessons using retrieval, spacing & interleaving


The problem with many revision classes is that many teachers think that students can suddenly self organise and self motivate. This is rarely the case. Last year I trialled a revision lesson structure and blogged on it here- Using research to design a revision session. The feedback from students was positive and I believe these had impact on their final weeks of learning before the exams. We use it for every lesson now and they can also use the structure for their own revision sessions. It’s based on cognitive science principles of retrieval, spacing and interleaving.

However, I wanted to improve the structure further this year. Here is the new structure:


Over the series of lessons, each topic is covered a minimum of 3 times. First it is in a review, then next lesson that topic is the exam question and the lesson after it it the marking task…

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Blog of the Week: 16 November 2018 – How Teachers Implement Interleaving In Their Curriculum

Since starting this outreach project, we’ve come out of our ivory towers and discovered that there are teachers out there already doing incredible implementation of cognitive principles into their curricula. This week, we have chosen to focus on implementation of interleaving throughout a semester, year, or even longer period of study.

Most of these blog posts come from teachers in the UK. Part of the reason for this could be that the UK secondary school system requires students to retain information for 2-3 years for a set of final exams (known as GCSEs) across all the subjects that they have been studying. Typically – and certainly when I took GCSEs back in the 1990s – the information would be taught sequentially, with little to no interleaving; and then a serious multi-week “revision” (= studying; or, less generously – cramming) period would precede the exams.

Here we’ve collected 5 blog posts by teachers across a variety of disciplines. (Actually, that’s not true. Three of them are about teaching English – but I interleaved those with the other two on physical and religious education – see what I did there?). In these blog posts, the teachers explore models that challenge the status quo by introducing…

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