Comparison of Rewatching Class Recordings versus Retrieval Practice as Post-Lecture Learning Strategies

Am J Pharm Educ. 2019 Nov;83(9):7217. doi: 10.5688/ajpe7217.


Objective. To assess the relative effectiveness of two study strategies, rewatching a recorded lecture and retrieval practice, on Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) students' long-term retention of lecture material presented in a pharmacotherapeutics class. Methods. One hundred two first-year pharmacy students were recruited for the study. All students attended two in-class lectures on different topics. The following week, students either re-studied from the recorded lecture on one of the two topics or, on the other topic, retrieved information about class content by responding to the course objectives. Half of the students were quizzed immediately after studying both topics. One week later, all students were required to complete an unannounced quiz to measure long-term retention. Finally, students were surveyed regarding their perceptions of the two learning strategies. Time on task was recorded to assess the efficiency of each learning strategy. Results. The primary outcome was student performance on the unannounced quiz administered one week after restudy of the lecture. No difference in performance was found between students who restudied the recorded lecture versus students who retrieved information about the lecture. However, immediately after restudying the material, students who studied from the recorded lecture performed better than students who retrieved information on the lecture. In terms of efficiency, the retrieval learning method required less time for the same gain in students' long-term retention of knowledge. Conclusions. Testing may be more efficient (ie, cost-effective) for long-term performance. Students who attend class may want to avoid rewatching course recordings in favor of practice testing.

Keywords: learning; lecture capture; technology; testing effect.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Education, Pharmacy / methods*
  • Educational Measurement
  • Humans
  • Learning*
  • Students, Pharmacy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires