In a new study, a team of researchers tested the hypothesis that these benefits are due to the effortful retrieval of information required by such activities.
To test this hypothesis, the psychologists assigned 124 undergraduate students from the National University of Singapore to one of four conditions. After being given 10mn to study and prepare a lesson on the Doppler effect, participants were actually asked to:
-Solve related math problems
-Record a video with the help of a script
-Record a teaching video without the help of a script
-Recall as much information as they could
Results showed that participants in the unaided teaching group performed as well as participants in the retrieval group, and much better than those in the aided teaching (+15%) and applied problem (+22%) groups.
This confirmed that the benefits observed in the learning-by-teaching strategy are likely atttibutable to the implied retrieval effort.
Source: Lim et alia (2018)
Image: Seven-year-old Jacqueline Loman addresses the class at Cheadle High School (Fox Photos/Getty Images)