Best Practice

Impactful interleaving strategies that can be used in the classroom

Interleaving techniques have been shown to improve the retention of knowledge but can be difficult to implement given curriculum constraints. Andrew Jones offers some simpler ways of interleaving topics in your teaching
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Interleaving, or interleaved practice, emphases the “mixing up” of topics being studied or recalled in order to facilitate improved retention and retrieval of knowledge and skills.

Importantly, interleaving is linked to spacing, or distributed practice, as the mixing up of topic areas will allow for them to be revisited at spaced intervals.

For instance, some advocates of interleaving argue we should avoid teaching schemes of learning or units of work in sequentially ordered blocks, such as A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, B3, C1, C2, C3, and instead teach topics in cyclical, or spaced, segments, such as A1, B1, C1, A2, B2, C2, A3, B3, C3 (for further elaboration, see Rohrer, 2012).

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