Emily G Wright



Download Project (338 KB)


Researchers and educators alike are interested in improving inductive learning, as instructional methods are greatly influenced by knowledge of how to present examples of category membership for later classification. Past research has shown that interleaved presentation, which involves the presentation of a member of one category followed by a member of another category, produces better recall when compared to blocked presentation, which involves the sequential presentation of all members of a single category before presenting all members of another category. The benefits of interleaved and blocked presentation are influenced by a number of factors, including whether study items are learned actively or passively, and whether items are repeated during study. Previous research found that repeating study items resulted in a benefit of blocked over interleaved presentation when items were studied actively. However, the effect of repetition during passive study, as well as the combination of both blocked and interleaved presentation during repeated study, remains unknown. This investigation used a repeated study paradigm to evaluate a new approach to category learning: a combined method which involves the presentation of study items in blocks followed by the repeated presentation of the same study items in interleaved order. We aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of interleaved versus blocked presentation when participants study items passively. The hypotheses were that completing combined presentation would result in higher test performance than interleaved or blocked presentation alone, and that interleaved presentation would result in higher performance than blocked presentation. Results indicated that those who studied using the combined or interleaved presentation methods outperformed those who studied using the blocked presentation; however, there was no significant difference in test performance when comparing those who studied using combined presentation and those who studied using interleaved presentation.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research - Graduate

Primary Advisor

Robert J. Crutcher

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium project

Combining Blocked and Interleaved Presentation during Passive Study and its Effect on Inductive Learning