John Mohl

Teacher, Cheltenham High School


Classroom Review Activities that Promote Retrieval and Metacognition

The presentation will describe two classroom activities designed to engage students through retrieval practice and the use of metacognition. The first is an activity that can be used in preparation of an exam or a general review of material. Students begin by doing a free recall, then recognition with retrieval cues, and finally a review of terms and concepts that they were unable to recall or recognize. Using different colored pencils, students are able to differentiate their levels of mastery of terms: those are recalled freely, those that are recognized, and those that were possible never effectively stored into memory.

The second activity is used with formative multiple-choice assessments. After answering each question item, students then rate their confidence in their response using a Likert Scale (raging from “Not at all Confident/Complete Guess” to “Completely Confident). This enables students not only to gauge the number of correctly answered items, but also to identify items the degree of confidence with which items were answered correctly or incorrectly, thereby providing more informed feedback with which students can gauge their understanding of the material.

Examples will be provided as well as suggestions for future research.


John Mohl is a psychology teacher at Cheltenham High School in Wyncote, PA and Faculty Member of the Department of Social and Behavioral Science at Bucks County Community College in Newtown, PA. His research interests include effective learning and understanding hypnosis and hypnotic phenomena. He is the Immediate Past President of APA Division 30, the Society of Psychological Hypnosis. He lives in Bucks County, PA with his wife and three children.