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Thursday, January 10 • 3:00pm - 4:00pm
The SMART Spaces Programme (294)

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There is evidence from neuroscience, cognitive psychology and educational practice that the delivery of information in a spaced format (i.e., presented over time with gaps) rather than in a massed format (presented all at once) leads to more effective learning even if the time spent on study is the same. This is known as spaced learning, or distributed practice. Cognitive psychology experiments have suggested that longer spacing intervals between repetitions of material (>24 hours) may be optimal for long-term memory formation. Whereas, the neuroscience suggests that shorter spaces (of around 10 minutes) may be beneficial. This information was used in a series of programme design workshops between researchers (Queen’s University Belfast) and GCSE science teachers (Hallam Teaching School Alliance) to develop three variants of a spaced learning programme for GCSE science revision classes. The variants were either utilising short 10-minute spaces, using longer 24hr spaces or using both short and longer spaces (10min/24hr combined). All three variants were explored in four schools and found to be feasible to deliver. Feedback from the science teachers and pupils was used to amend the programme materials, training and delivery method. Then, in order to identify the optimum version of the program, a randomised controlled trial of the three variants (with two control conditions) was conducted in 12 schools (n=408 pupils), which compared spacing effects to control conditions on pre-post science attainment measures. The trial found that the combined variant of the programme (10 minute and 24hr spaces) had a significant effect on science attainment (effect size g=0.19). Which has now been developed into the SMART Spaces programme. SMART Spaces is currently being trialled by the Education Endowment Foundation in a large randomised controlled trial study with over 100 schools in England.

avatar for Dr Liam O'Hare

Dr Liam O'Hare

Lecturer, Queen's University Belfast
Main interests are:Prevention and early Intervention in schools and communities.Applying psychology in educational settings.Design, implementation and evaluation of educational programmes.

Thursday January 10, 2019 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Poynting Physics Small LT (S06)