Rani Ahmad, Omyayma Hamed, Reda Jamjoom, Yoon Soo Park, Ara Tekian


Background: In spaced practice learning is assisted by using several time intervals between short learning sessions and in massed practice learning is assisted by using few intervals in between longer learning sessions. This study aims to explore two opposite learning strategies that is spaced and massed practice in regard of effectiveness and satisfaction levels.

Materials & Methods: A quantitative research methodology was utilized to compare two faculty development programs that used spaced and massed learning methodologies at different phases of learning. Sixteen faculty members were enlisted from King Abdul-Aziz University’s (KAU) Faculty of Medicine in Jeddah. The assessment of spaced and massed practices among faculty members was determined through primary and secondary outcome evaluation. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) (version 23.0) was used to analyze the numerical data. A comparison of the satisfaction levels of students who were involved in the modules supervised by the faculty members of both groups along with their success rate (based on the annual course reports) was tested using a paired samples t-test. A chi-squared test was employed to identify possible relationships between other different categorical variables in the report.

Results: Massed practices and spaced practices were applied on two groups to compare the effectiveness of learning. The majority of faculty members from both groups were judged to be able to use their skills in real-world situations. However, student satisfaction was better in massed practices than in spaced practices, despite a somewhat higher success rate in students taught utilizing the spaced type technique. Although differences in other areas were not statistically significant, the massed group virtually had a statistically significant greater use of assessment blueprint and constructing the blueprint according to evidence-based recommendations than the spacing group. However, in terms of successful course results, massed practices were found to be more beneficial than spaced practices.

Conclusion: As both of the learning strategies can provide positive outcomes in particular learning environments, Therefore, suitable learning strategy selection is based on the developing scenarios and context.


Spaced Learning; Satisfaction; Learning assessment; Massed Learning.

Full Text:



Breckwoldt J, Ludwig JR, Plener J, Schröder T, Gruber H, Peters H. Differences in procedural knowledge after a “spaced” and a “massed” version of an intensive course in emergency medicine, investigating a very short spacing interval. BMC medical education 2016;16(1):1-9.

Boucher BA, Chyka PJ, Fitzgerald Jr WL, Hak LJ, Miller DD, Parker RB, Phelps SJ, Wood GC, Gourley DR. A comprehensive approach to faculty development. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education 2006;70(2).

Kang SH. Spaced repetition promotes efficient and effective learning: Policy implications for instruction. Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 2016;3(1):12-9.

Rohrer D, Dedrick RF, Stershic S. Interleaved practice improves mathematics learning. Journal of Educational Psychology 2015;107(3):900.

Versteeg M, Hendriks RA, Thomas A, Ommering BW, Steendijk P. Conceptualising spaced learning in health professions education: a scoping review. Medical education 2020;54(3):205-16.

Dunlosky J, Rawson KA, Marsh EJ, Nathan MJ, Willingham DT. Improving students’ learning with effective learning techniques: Promising directions from cognitive and educational psychology. Psychological Science in the public interest 2013;14(1):4-58.

Middleton EL, Schwartz MF, Rawson KA, Traut H, Verkuilen J. Towards a theory of learning for naming rehabilitation: Retrieval practice and spacing effects. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 2016;59(5):1111-22.

Grote MG. Distributed versus massed practice in high school physics. School Science andMathematics1995;95(2):97-101.

Hopkins RF, Lyle KB, Hieb JL, Ralston PA. Spaced retrieval practice increases college students’ short-and long-term retention of mathematics knowledge. Educational Psychology Review 2016;28(4):853-73.

Seabrook R, Brown GD, Solity JE. Distributed and massed practice: From laboratory to classroom. Applied cognitive psychology. 2005;19(1):107-22.

Casey D, Carroll C, Crowley J. Rethinking the Mathematics Worksheet in Higher Education: Embracing the Application of Spaced and Interleaved Practice. Irish Journal of Academic Practice. 2018;7(1):2. doi:10.21427/D7Q526

Hopkins RF, Lyle KB, Ralston PA, Bego CR, Hieb JL. Board 121: Retrieval Practice and Spacing: Effects on Long-Term Learning among Engineering Precalculus Students. In2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition 2018;23. DOI: 10.18260/1-2-29900

Bego CR, Lyle KB, Ralston PA, Hieb JL. Retrieval practice and spacing in an engineering mathematics classroom: Do the effects add up?. In2017 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE) 2017;18:pp 1-5. IEEE.

Patac LP, Patac JR AV. The Analysis of Two Teaching Programs: Massed and Distributed. IAMURE International Journal of Mathematics, Engineering & Technology. 2013;6(1):59.

Maddox GB, Balota DA. Retrieval practice and spacing effects in young and older adults: An examination of the benefits of desirable difficulty. Memory & cognition. 2015;43(5):760-74.

Metcalfe J, Xu J. People mind wander more during massed than spaced inductive learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. 2016;42(6):978.

Kwon YH, Kwon JW, Lee MH. Effectiveness of motor sequential learning according to practice schedules in healthy adults; distributed practice versus massed practice. Journal of physical therapy science 2015;27(3):769-72.

Sayeski KL, Earle GA, Eslinger RP, Whitenton JN. Teacher candidates’ mastery of phoneme-grapheme correspondence: massed versus distributed practice in teacher education. Annals of dyslexia 2017;67(1):26-41.

McIntyre SH, Munson JM. Exploring cramming: Student behaviors, beliefs, and learning retention in the principles of marketing course. Journal of Marketing Education 2008;30(3):226-43.

Yeh DD, Park YS. Improving learning efficiency of factual knowledge in medical education. Journal of surgical education 2015; 72(5):882-9.

Pugh D, Regehr G. Taking the sting out of assessment: is there a role for progress testing?. Medical Education 2016; 50(7):721-9.

Dunn DS, Saville BK, Baker SC, Marek P. Evidence-based teaching: Tools and techniques that promote learning in the psychology classroom. Australian Journal of Psychology 2013; 65(1):5-13.

Grohmann A, Kauffeld S. Evaluating training programs: development and correlates of the Q uestionnaire for P rofessional T raining E valuation. International Journal of Training and Development 2013; 17(2):135-55.

Grohmann A, Kauffeld S. Evaluating training programs: development and correlates of the Q uestionnaire for P rofessional T raining E valuation. International Journal of Training and Development 2013; 17(2):135-55.

Karpicke JD, Roediger HL. Is expanding retrieval a superior method for learning text materials?. Memory & cognition 2010; 38(1):116-24.

Notzer N, Abramovitz R. Can brief workshops improve clinical instruction? Medical education 2008;42(2):152-6.

Yeung J, Djarv T, Hsieh MJ, Sawyer T, Lockey A, Finn J, Greif R, Lightfoot D, Singletary E, Morley P, Bhanji F. Spaced learning versus massed learning in resuscitation-a systematic review. Resuscitation 2020;156(1):61-71.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2023. Rani Ahmad, Omyayma Hamed, Reda Jamjoom, Yoon Soo Park, Ara Tekian.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.