Integrating Cognitive Science and Technology Improves Learning in a STEM Classroom

Andrew C. Butler, Elizabeth J. Marsh, J. P. Slavinsky, Richard G. Baraniuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


The most effective educational interventions often face significant barriers to widespread implementation because they are highly specific, resource intense, and/or comprehensive. We argue for an alternative approach to improving education: leveraging technology and cognitive science to develop interventions that generalize, scale, and can be easily implemented within any curriculum. In a classroom experiment, we investigated whether three simple, but powerful principles from cognitive science could be combined to improve learning. Although implementation of these principles only required a few small changes to standard practice in a college engineering course, it significantly increased student performance on exams. Our findings highlight the potential for developing inexpensive, yet effective educational interventions that can be implemented worldwide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-340
Number of pages10
JournalEducational Psychology Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Education
  • Feedback
  • Retrieval practice
  • Spacing
  • Technology
  • Transfer of learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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