There is only one mechanism for forgetting information from long-term memory. Something is forgotten from long-term memory only because its retrieval path is weak.
The only way to mitigate forgetting from long-term memory is by strengthening appropriate retrieval paths. At the present time we are aware of eight techniques which strengthen retrieval paths.
The consensus, until recently was that when a learner failed to learn information it had not been stored in long-term memory. Proposed remedies were therefore to reread (or otherwise re-experience) the information in the hope that this time it would land in long-term memory.
Current research demonstrates that it is relatively easy to get information into long-term memory (see the diagram). We have also discovered that if learning has failed the most likely cause is a failure to establish and exercise appropriate retrieval paths from long-term memory. Proposed remedies are the eight techniques for strengthening retrieval paths listed on the diagram. They warrant repeating here:
- Retrieval Practice
- Spaced Retrieval
- Interleaved Retrieval