How to easily review and revise class content with Kialo Edu discussions

“What do you mean you can’t remember? We only did this last week!” Even if you’ve not said this, we bet you’ve thought it! It may sometimes seem like students have a hard time remembering content you’ve just taught them, never mind information from earlier in the year. 

But incorporating regular learning review strategies can offer a solution! If you haven’t given it a go yet, Kialo Edu’s argument mapping structure is a great tool for reviewing and revising content.

But why don’t my students seem to remember anything?

In his Forgetting Curve, German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus demonstrated that we lose 50% of new information within a day, and 90% within a week. This may explain your students’ difficulties in recalling lessons. 

For successful learning, educators need to ensure information is transferred to students’ long-term memory through regular learning review activities and independent revision. We hope you will remember all this to use with your students!

Why are learning reviews effective?

Reviewing learning is part of Barak Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction. He believed that learning should be reviewed regularly until it becomes fluent and automatic, so students can recall prior learning with little or no effort. 

Further work on Rosenshine’s principles has demonstrated that learning review reduces the amount of information that students will forget and enables them to practice retrieval of information. It also leads to generative learning whereby students generate new ways of understanding content. 

So, now that we recognize its importance, let’s take a look at how Kialo Edu can work as a learning review strategy in lessons and as part of independent revision.

How to do learning reviews and independent revision on Kialo Edu

1. Keeping a digital record

Many educators already use discussions and debates as a learning review tool. Indeed, evidence exists that links debate participation with improved subject knowledge. However, when most debates and discussions are completed, there is usually no record of the contents to use for review.

Kialo Edu’s argument mapping platform keeps a digital record of the key arguments and claims from a discussion. Educators and students can refer to it before, during, or after the discussion of a new topic. As learning progresses, students can edit or add claims to reflect their learning.

Rosenshine suggests that students should review content regularly over longer time periods. Educators and students can continue to access and edit Kialo discussions even when the discussion is complete, making it suitable for longer-term reviews.

As students explore new topics, they can make connections with previous argument maps as part of the generative process, helping to embed learning. Students can also access argument maps on their personal devices at any time to support exam revision.

2. Practicing spaced repetition of content

Earlier, we mentioned Ebbinghaus — we’re sure you haven’t forgotten already! He discovered that spaced repetition is effective in transferring learning to long-term memory. The opposite of this is “cramming,” which may be effective in the short term but does not transfer knowledge into long-term memory. Thus, educators need to give students the tools for spaced repetition, particularly during revision periods. Fortunately, as an online, collaborative discussion platform, Kialo Edu can support this!

Educators can easily start and stop a Kialo Edu discussion to create spaced repetition for students. For example, educators can create weekly discussions, with each discussion starting and stopping at specified times. This could be used as a review activity in the classroom, but is also great for independent revision. Educators can monitor students’ participation and identify where more revision support is needed.

3. Giving Tasks to guide reviews and revision

When enabled in a discussion, the Tasks feature can be used to direct students towards specific activities. For each task, educators can specify how many of each they want students to complete. This includes writing claims in total, writing claims below others' claims, writing claims below one's own claims, linking to a source in one's own claims, and voting on claims.

When using a Kialo Edu discussion during reviews, educators can specify a set number of tasks for students to complete. Tasks options include telling students how many claims they should write, how many sources to use, or how many times to vote. This ensures students remain focused during learning reviews and independent revision.

When students complete a task, they are rewarded with a fun pop-up animation! This can help motivate students to participate and therefore retain more information. 

4. Giving feedback for collaborative work

Teacher feedback is attached to several claims as indicated by the graduation hat icon. Giving feedback is a form of learning review strategy.

Teachers can easily give feedback in a Kialo Edu discussion. They can use this as part of a weekly or monthly classroom review activity. But it can also be useful when students are independently reviewing outside the classroom. 

Initially, students may self-reflect on their revision by assessing their own claims against lesson notes. Educators can then leave feedback to guide students’ revision, so students know whether they are on track.

To bring a collaborative element to reviewing, students can interact with each other through commenting on each others’ claims. Whilst useful in the classroom, these interactions can be particularly effective in combating the isolation that students may feel during revision periods. So, hopefully, using Kialo Edu means “cramming” will become a thing of the past!

We hope that once you start using Kialo Edu as a learning review and revision tool, you will notice an improvement in retention of learning, so your hard work in planning and delivering engaging lessons is not wasted. We would love to hear the success stories from your classroom! Don’t forget to send them to, or contact us via social media!

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