Students' free studying after training with instructions about the mnemonic benefits of testing: Do students use self-testing spontaneously?
Testing has a powerful effect on long-term retention. We examined whether training with instructions about the mnemonic benefits of testing could lead to spontaneous use of it during free studying. After studying a short-answer question associated with a selection of prose, some students were given an instruction and training session focusing on the benefits of testing (Instruction+training group), whereas other students were only given an instruction about the benefit of testing (Instruction group). After free studying, students were asked each question immediately and 1 month later. The results showed that students in the instruction+training group spontaneously used self-testing had the best performance on the delayed test, compared to the instruction and no instruction groups. These results suggest that training in addition to instruction is essential to increase the spontaneous use of self-testing.