Reliable Recall: The Process is the Point

By Nicholas Lytal (California State University, Chico)


Information is easy to access in the modern world. However, this easy access takes away from basic classroom skills, such as recalling terms and processes. Every student has their own approach to learning, and regardless of their background, all students need a well-developed process before implementing an automatic tool.

This activity takes a personalized notecard approach to mathematics and statistics. Students will compose their own cards and associations, either using physical cards or computer programs (e.g. Anki). Early concepts and terms can be covered in individual cards (e.g. population, statistic), while more layered processes may warrant a separate deck (e.g. hypothesis test). Also included are suggestions for how instructors and students may utilize their cards throughout a course to regularly reinforce key concepts, with the goal of building good study habits applicable in other disciplines as well.

Through this approach, each student may form their own connections, rather than drawing solely upon definitions as they appear in a textbook or class slides. Students are encouraged to work together or directly reference each other, so long as they each do the work of constructing their own cards. Remember, the process is the point!


Reliable Recall.pdf