ALSET webinar w/ Steven PAN (NUS Psy)

TH Study and Common Areas-21

The Power of Pretesting: Implications for Attention and Learning in Educational Contexts

Friday 25 February 2022 - 10:00-11:00 am


Taking a practice quiz or test on information that has yet to be learned—i.e., taking a pretest—might seem like a fruitless endeavour. After all, why bother attempting to answer questions when there is virtually no chance of producing the correct answers? Remarkably, an emerging body of research suggests that doing so can yield potent learning benefits. I will present data on this “pretesting effect” (or “prequestion effect”), focusing on the consequences of engaging in pretesting for attention and learning of video (e.g., pre-recorded online lectures) and text materials (e.g., educational text passages). The findings reveal insights into the potential of pretests (and prequestions) to function as an effective pedagogical tool in online and more conventional learning contexts.



Dr. Pan is an Assistant Professor and the director of the Learning Sciences Laboratory in the Department of Psychology at NUS. He investigates human learning and memory processes and the optimisation of those processes, with a goal of generating durable and flexible learning. Current lines of investigation involve such learning strategies as retrieval practice, prequestions, and interleaving. His research has been published in Educational Psychology Review, Journal of Educational Psychology, Psychological Bulletin, and other top journals. He completed his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology with a concentration in Cognitive Psychology at the University of California, San Diego, and was a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles.


The presentation will be held online.
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