The Effect of Spaced Learning on Student Achievement in Online Advanced Placement Courses

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Brief Abstract

This session will explore the impact course pacing has on student achievement, as measured by the scores achieved on Advanced Placement exams. Analysis of how often students view and engage with online course content will be presented in addition to how the design of each course impacted student pacing.


Brandi Goodman is an innovative educator with a passion for reimaginaning learning in traditional and online spaces. She has worked in education for 14 years as a teacher, instructional coach and technology leader. Her love for technology began early in her career when she flipped her classroom instruction in 2010 and saw how this transformed the learning experience for her students, promoting stronger learning outcomes and fostering more authentic relationships with her students. Since then, Brandi has taught a variety of courses, both traditional and online, with the intention of using technology as a means to increase effectiveness, efficiency and engagement in learning. Serving as the Coordinator for Educational Technology at Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando, FL, Brandi oversees the integration of educational technology for grades PK-12, and encourages teachers to explore ways technology can support their classrooms. She is also a doctoral student at the University of Central Florida studying Instructional Design and Technology with a desire to investigate and define best practices in online and blended learning in the realm of K-12 education.

Extended Abstract

One of the main benefits of online learning is the flexibility for individuals to learn at their own time and pace. Some online courses are self-paced where learners can determine their individual pace in the course while others have spaced deadlines for course assignments to encourage learners to keep a certain pace. The balance between flexibility and targeted pacing affects student achievement in online courses and careful consideration by instructors and designers should be given to how they structure their online courses to promote long-term memory. 

Ebbinghaus's Forgetting Curve explains how learners tend to forget information over time when presented in single instances. Revisiting information in spaced intervals helps learners can help reduce the rate at which information is forgotten.  When learners are able to determine the pace of their learning, they may not consider how the timing of their engagement is affecting their ability to learn and retain what they are learning. The purpose of this session is to explore the impact of spaced learning on student achievement, as measured by an analysis of student page views in an online course in relation to scores earned on Advanced Placement exams. The goal is to determine how the pacing of course content and assessments can be designed to best support student engagement and promote long-term memory.