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21.12.2018 | Wissenschaftliche Beiträge | Ausgabe 2/2019 Open Access

Zeitschrift für Arbeitswissenschaft 2/2019

Is there one best way to support skill retention? Putting practice, testing and symbolic rehearsal to the test

Zeitschrift:
Zeitschrift für Arbeitswissenschaft > Ausgabe 2/2019
Autoren:
Dr. Barbara Frank, Prof. Dr. Annette Kluge

Abstract

While a great deal is already known about the effectiveness of training delivery methods, the effectiveness of methods to support skill retention has not yet been sufficiently examined. To address this gap, three studies with different task types were conducted, comprising a total of 240 participants (80 per study). Participants learned how to perform a simulated process control task, which served as a prototype for a setting prone to skill decay. The aim was to compare three refresher interventions (Practice, Testing, and Symbolic Rehearsal), which differ in their underlying theoretical rationale. Participants in all three studies learned a task in week 1 (Study 1: fixed-sequence task, Study 2: contingent-sequence task, Study 3: parallel-sequence task). In each study, participants were divided into four equal-sized groups, which received either no refresher intervention or one of the following three refresher interventions one week after initial training (week 2): Practice, Skill Test, Symbolic Rehearsal. After two weeks, they performed the task again without help (week 3). Independently of the task, refresher interventions reduced the number of mistakes, especially when a Practice refresher intervention was applied. The classical “testing effect” could not be replicated.
Practical Relevance: Independently of the task, refresher interventions reduced the number of mistakes, especially when a Practice refresher intervention was applied. The classical “testing effect” could not be replicated.
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