Society for the Teaching of Psychology: Division 2 of the American Psychological Association

Applying Science of Learning in Education: Infusing Psychological Science into the Curriculum (2014)


This edited book represents a sliver, albeit a substantial one, of the scholarship on the science of learning and its application in educational settings. Most of the work described in this book is based on theory and research in cognitive psychology. Although much, but not all, of what is presented is focused on learning in college and university settings, teachers of all academic levels may find the recommendations made by chapter authors of service. Authors wrote their chapters with nonexperts as the target audience – teachers who may have little or no background in science of learning, research-based approaches to teaching and learning, or even general principles of psychological science. The book is organized in three sections. The 14 chapters in Part 1 address important concepts, principles, theories, and research findings, and applications related to the science of learning. The four chapters in Part 2 focus on preparing faculty to apply science of learning principles in their courses. Finally, the six chapters in Part 3 provide examples of research that have been done in real academic settings and that have applied one or more science of learning principles.

"Best book on learning I've read this year." Mary-Ellen Weimer

PsycCRITIQUES Review by Ernest T. Goetz

Chronicle of Higher Ed Review by James Lang

ISBN: 978-1-941804-29-2

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments and Dedication

About the Editors

Table of Contents

Victor A. Benassi, Catherine E. Overson, and Christopher M. Hakala

Part 1: Science of Learning - Principles and Approaches

Prior Knowledge is More Than Content: Skills and Beliefs Also Impact Learning
Susan A. Ambrose and Marsha C. Lovett

When and Why Introducing Difficulties and Errors Can Enhance Instruction
Courtney M. Clark and Robert A. Bjork

Expertise Reversal Effect and Its Instructional Implications
Chee Ha Lee and Slava Kalyuga

Using Feedback to Promote Learning
John A. C. Hattie and Gregory C. R. Yates

Research-Based Principles for Designing Multimedia Instruction
Richard E. Mayer

Generating Active Learning
Sharon Bertsch and Bryan Pesta

Test-enhanced Learning
Mary A. Pyc, Pooja K. Agarwal, and Henry L. Roediger, III

Supporting Self-Explanation in the Classroom
Jennifer L. Chiu and Michelene T.H. Chi

Potent Techniques to Improve Learning from Text
Khuyen Nguyen and Mark A. McDaniel

Learning From Worked Examples: How to Prepare Students for Meaningful Problem Solving
Alexander Renkl

Spacing and Interleaving of Study and Practice
Shana K. Carpenter

How Accuracy in Students’ Self Perceptions Relates to Success in Learning
Joyce Ehrlinger and E. Ashley Shain

Metacognition and Instruction
John Girash

Operation ARA: A Serious Game that Combines Intelligent Tutoring and Learning Principles to Teach Science
Keith Millis, Arthur C. Graesser, and Diane F. Halpern

Part 2: Preparing Faculty to Apply Science of Learning

Assessing the Impact of Instructional Methods
Regan A. R. Gurung

Applying the Science of Learning: The Cognition Toolbox
Victor A. Benassi, Elizabeth M. Tappin, Catherine E. Overson, Michael J. Lee, Edward J. O'Brien, Barbara Prudhomme White, Jennifer J. Stiegler-Balfour, and Christopher M. Hakala

Applying Evidence-Based Principles of Learning to Teaching Practice: The Bridging the Gap Seminar
Debra Swoboda

Helping Students to Get the Most Out of Studying
Stephen L. Chew

Part 3: Putting the Science of Learning into Practice

The Effects of Memory Retrieval, Errors and Feedback on Learning
Nate Kornell and Janet Metcalfe

Applying Multimedia Principles to Slide Shows for Academic Presentation
Catherine Overson

Student misconceptions: Where do they  come from and what can we do?
Annette K. Taylor and Patricia Kowalski

Examining the Benefits of Cumulative Exams
Natalie K. Lawrence

Intervening on Behalf of Low-Skilled Comprehenders in a University General Chemistry Course
Samuel Pazicni and Daniel T. Pyburn

The Influence of Guiding Questions on Skilled- and Less-Skilled Readers’ Understanding of Written Discourse
Jennifer J. Stiegler-Balfour, Victor A. Benassi, Heather Tatsak, and Andrea Taatjes


Feedback regarding the editorial content of this book or any of its essays should be directed toward the individual authors or the book's editors. They (authors and editors) are solely responsible for the substance of the text.

Feedback regarding technical matters of formatting or accessibility of this text via the online environment of the Internet should be directed to the Internet Editor. If you have any complaints or difficulties in accessing these materials, be sure to provide as detailed a description of your problem(s) as you can; you should include information about the browser you are using (e.g., Firefox, Safari) and its version number well as the type of computer you are using and its operating system.

Copyright and Other Legal Notices

The individual essays and chapters contained within this collection are Copyright © 2014 by their respective authors. This collection of essays and chapters as a compendium is Copyright © 2014 Society for the Teaching of Psychology.

You may print multiple copies of these materials for your own personal use, including use in your classes and/or sharing with individual colleagues as long as the author's name and institution, and a notice that the materials were obtained from the website of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology (STP) <> appear on the copied document. For research and archival purposes, public libraries and libraries at schools, colleges, universities and similar educational institutions may print and store in their research or lending collections multiple copies of this compendium as a whole without seeking further permission of STP (the editors would appreciate receiving a pro forma notice of any such library use).  No other permission is granted to you to print, copy, reproduce, or distribute additional copies of these materials. Anyone who wishes to print, copy, reproduce, or distribute copies for other purposes must obtain the permission of the individual copyright owners. Particular care should be taken to seek permission from the respective copyright holder(s) for any commercial or "for profit" use of these materials.

Suggested Reference Format

We suggest that the overall text be referenced in this fashion:

Benassi, V. A., Overson, C. E., & Hakala, C. M. (2014). Applying science of learning in education: Infusing psychological science into the curriculum. Retrieved from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology web site:

Individual chapters may be referenced in this fashion:

Ambrose, S. A., & Lovett, M. C. (2014). Prior knowledge is more important than content: Skills and beliefs also impact learning. In V. A. Benassi, C. E. Overson, & C. M. Hakala (Eds.). Applying science of learning in education: Infusing psychological science into the curriculum. Retrieved from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology web site:

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