The present studies were undertaken to examine the effects of manipulating delay-interval task (Study 1) and timing of feedback (Study 2) on acquisition and retention. Participants completed a 100-item cumulative final examination, which included 50 items from each laboratory examination, plus 50 entirely new items. Acquisition and retention were examined in Study 1 in which delayinterval task, length of delay until feedback was delivered, and the opportunity to answer until correct (AUG) were manipulated and, in Study 2, in which the number of items completed before feedback was delivered and AUC were manipulated. Delays longer than 5 s negatively affected learning (Study 1) when participants engaged in a delay-interval distraction task; enhancement was observed when individual test items and correct responses were reviewed during the interval. Significant decrements in learning were observed in Study 2 in the absence of a distraction task when more than 1 test item was completed prior to the delivery of feedback. The present outcomes add to the growing body of evidence that retention is maximized when test items are completed individually and exited with knowledge of the correct response, that the opportunity to answer until correct minimizes perseverative inaccurate responding and, for multiple-choice test items, that immediate feedback is a more effective facilitator of retention than delayed feedback.
Brosvic, Gary M.; Epstein, Michael L.; Dihoff, Roberta E.; and Cook, Michael L.
"Retention of Esperanto is Affected by Delay-Interval Task and Item Closure: A Partial Resolution of the Delay-Retention Effect,"
The Psychological Record: Vol. 56
, Article 9.
Available at: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/tpr/vol56/iss4/9