5 Genius Ways to Implement Active Recall in Study Sessions

5 Genius Ways to Implement Active Recall in Study Sessions

Publish date
Nov 27, 2023


Ask any lifelong learner like you and they'll confirm, mastering new information often feels like trying to catch a stream of water with a sieve. One moment you understand a concept and the next, it slips away. But what if I told you there's a scientifically proven approach to capturing and retaining information more effectively? Enter active recall, a powerful learning strategy our brain naturally loves.
When studying, it's all too easy to fall into the trap of passive learning - reading and re-reading notes, or simply watching videos without actively engaging with the content. True learning, however, happens outside of this comfort zone. It requires active recall - the practice of actively retrieving information from your memory without any external cues. The cognitive science behind active recall shows us that the more we practice retrieving information, the better we get at it. What's crucial here is actively trying to remember, which stimulates our brains in a way that reinforces neural connections related to that information.
Here at Traverse, we are fascinated by the transformative impact of active recall on learning outcomes. But understanding the concept is one thing, implementing it into your study sessions is where the magic really happens. Our platform is designed to seamlessly incorporate science-backed methods such as active recall and spaced repetition, allowing learners to make the most out of every study session.
Take a glimpse of some active recall examples you'll get to try:
  • The 3-Step Active Recall Method: This beautiful blend of understanding, recollecting, and checking accuracy led our founder, Dom, to deeper mastery more than any other method.
  • Using Flashcards for Active Recall: Old school, you might think. But when fused with technology, flashcards can power your active recall like nothing else.
  • Incorporating Diagrams and Visual Aids: A picture can indeed be worth a thousand words when it aids your effort to pull information from your memory.
  • Whiteboard Method: Teaching a wall has never been this rewarding!
  • Teaching Others: If you can explain a concept to an imaginary sixth grader, be sure you have conquered your subject.
notion image
These active recall examples might seem simple, but when they become part and parcel of your study routine, you'll begin to see leaps in your information retention and recall skills. Dive in to learn more about these genius ways to implement active recall in your study sessions and how Traverse can make it second nature.

The 3-Step Active Recall Method

Understanding and effectively implementing active recall can vastly improve your study sessions. An easy way to start is by adopting the 3-step active recall method.

Familiarizing Yourself with the Material

The first step involves immersing yourself in the study material. This could be a chapter from a textbook, a lecture, or an educational video. Your aim is to understand the content and grasp the main ideas. Be sure to take notes as you go along. You can use Traverse to import your study materials and create a centralized space for all your learning resources, making it easier to familiarize yourself with the content.

Actively Recalling the Information

Once you've gone through the material, it's time for active recall. Put away your notes and resources, and try to remember the key points. This could be by summarizing the content in your own words, drawing a diagram to represent the information, or asking yourself questions based on what you've just learned.
The idea is to engage your brain actively, not just passively consuming information. It's during this step that you really start to create connections in your brain. As Dom, the founder of Traverse, puts it, "this active engagement strengthens the connections in your brain and makes you more likely to remember the information in the long term."

Checking for Accuracy

The final step is to check your recall against the original material. Compare what you remembered with what's actually in the text or lecture. This step is crucial as it helps you identify any gaps in your understanding and areas where you need to focus more.
This 3-step active recall method is a simple yet effective way to incorporate active recall into your study routine. It can be used with any subject or learning material, and you can adjust it to suit your study habits and preferences.
Remember, the key is consistency. The more you practice this method, the better you'll get at recalling information and the more you'll remember in the long run. So, why not give it a shot in your next study session? With Traverse, implementing this strategy has never been easier. Happy studying!

Using Flashcards for Active Recall

The power of flashcards in learning cannot be understated. As our founder Dom rightly puts it, "Flashcards are the unsung heroes of knowledge retention." They are not just about flipping through a bunch of cards, but rather about engaging your brain in active recall. By repeatedly asking questions and retrieving answers, you stimulate your memory, enhancing your learning experience.

How Flashcards Facilitate Active Recall

Flashcards work by presenting a query on one side and an answer on the other. This simple mechanism encourages active recall. When you see the query, your brain must actively retrieve the answer from your memory. It's not just a simple review of information, it's an active process that helps reinforce what you've learned.
Research shows that students who use flashcards to study are more likely to remember the information in the long term. In fact, a 2013 study found that 70% of participants used flashcards to study for at least one exam, highlighting their effectiveness.

Creating Effective Flashcards with Traverse App

At Traverse, we have integrated the power of flashcards into our platform. With our app, you can create smart flashcards that help you review any item just when you're on the brink of forgetting it.
Creating effective flashcards doesn't just involve writing a question on one side and an answer on the other. To optimize your flashcards for better learning, you should:
  1. Contextualize your learning: Include a sentence using the new word or concept to understand its context.
  1. Use multimedia: Incorporate images and audio into your flashcards to enhance your memory.
  1. Use spaced repetition: Review your flashcards at intervals to strengthen your memory.

Tips for Using Flashcards for Active Recall

To unleash the full potential of flashcards in your study sessions, here are some tips:
  1. Review Regularly: Consistency is key when it comes to active recall. Regularly review your flashcards to reinforce your memory.
  1. Customize Your Sessions: Adjust the number of new cards you see each day and the intervals at which cards are shown according to your learning pace.
  1. Use Filters and Tags: Keep your flashcards well-organized by using tags and filters. This allows you to focus on areas that need more attention.
By harnessing the power of flashcards and active recall, you can transform your study sessions into highly effective and efficient learning experiences. At Traverse, we're excited to be part of your learning journey.

Incorporating Diagrams and Visual Aids in Active Recall

Visual aids can play a critical role in the active recall process, especially when dealing with complex topics. For instance, in science subjects, you might use diagrams to identify cell structures or in math to label angles and trigonometry calculations around a shape. Visualizing information not only enhances understanding but also makes recall easier.

The Role of Visual Aids in Active Recall

As one of the active recall examples, visual aids can help create a mental map of the information, making it easier to recall when needed. This is particularly useful when learning complex or abstract concepts as it helps break down information into manageable chunks, reducing cognitive overload. Moreover, research suggests that visual aids improve retention and recall of information, especially when they're integrated into active learning strategies.

Creating Diagrams for Active Recall with Traverse App

At Traverse, we understand the immense value that visual aids can offer in the learning process. That's why we've designed our platform to allow learners to create and incorporate diagrams into their study materials easily.
Our integrated note-taking feature allows you to sketch out concepts, label diagrams, and annotate images right within the app. You can then convert these visual aids into flashcards for active recall. This way, you not only learn the material but also actively engage with it, enhancing your memory recall.

Tips for Using Visual Aids for Active Recall

When incorporating diagrams and visual aids into your study sessions, keep in mind the following tips:
  1. Simplicity is key: Keep your diagrams and visual aids simple and clear. Overly complicated visuals can be distracting and counterproductive.
  1. Label effectively: Use labels to identify different elements of your diagrams. This can help you remember key details and concepts.
  1. Use colors strategically: Colors can help differentiate between different elements of a diagram and can aid in recall. However, avoid using too many colors as it can make the diagram confusing.
  1. Incorporate into flashcards: Use the Traverse App to incorporate your diagrams into flashcards. This allows you to actively recall information during your review sessions.
  1. Regularly review: Just like any other study material, ensure that you regularly review your diagrams and visual aids.
In conclusion, diagrams and visual aids can be a powerful tool in your active recall arsenal. They not only aid in understanding but also in memorizing and recalling information effectively. At Traverse, we're committed to providing you with the tools and resources you need to make your learning journey as efficient and enjoyable as possible.

The Whiteboard Method for Active Recall

Explanation of the Whiteboard Method

A powerful way to incorporate active recall into your study sessions is to use the Whiteboard Method. This technique involves visualizing and writing out your understanding of a topic or concept on a whiteboard (or any large writing surface) without referring to your study materials. You can write out definitions, draw diagrams, or even jot down related thoughts and ideas. The act of writing without reference materials forces your brain to actively recall information, thus reinforcing memory retrieval pathways.

Implementing the Whiteboard Method with Traverse App

At Traverse, we understand the value of the Whiteboard Method, and we have designed our platform to support this active recall approach. You can easily jot down your understanding of a topic in the note-taking section, then cross-check it with the original material for accuracy. This way, you are not just passively reading through your notes, but actively engaging your brain by writing out what you remember, thereby enhancing your recall ability.

Tips for Using the Whiteboard Method for Active Recall

Here are a few tips to make the most of the Whiteboard Method in your study sessions with Traverse:
  1. Break down complex topics: Start with an overview of the topic and gradually break it down into smaller chunks. This will help you understand and remember the information in a structured manner.
  1. Use diagrams and visuals: As much as possible, represent information visually. This could be through flowcharts, diagrams, or even doodles. Visuals can help enhance understanding and recall.
  1. Be concise: Try to summarize the key points in your own words instead of writing lengthy paragraphs. This will help you remember the core concepts more easily.
  1. Review and refine: Once you've written everything you can remember, review your notes and compare them with the original material. Identify any gaps or inaccuracies and refine your notes accordingly.
Remember, the goal is not to create perfect notes, but to actively retrieve and reinforce information in your memory. So, don't be afraid to make mistakes. They are an essential part of the learning process. Happy studying!

Active Recall through Teaching Others

The Benefits of Teaching Others for Active Recall

Ever heard of the saying, "To teach is to learn twice?" It's not just a catchy phrase, but a scientifically-proven method to enhance your understanding and recall ability. When you explain a concept to someone else, it forces you to organize your thoughts, address any gaps in your understanding, and reinforces your knowledge. This process, known as the 'teaching effect', is a powerful form of active recall as it involves actively retrieving information from your memory and explaining it to others.

Using Traverse App to Facilitate Teaching Others

At Traverse, we understand the benefits of teaching others for active recall and have designed our innovative learning app to support this method. Our app allows you to create mind maps, flashcards, and notes that can be used to explain and teach concepts to others. If you're already using Anki, a popular flashcard tool, you'll appreciate how Traverse takes it a step further. Traverse is 100% Anki-compatible, meaning you can import your existing Anki decks into Traverse and use them to teach others.

Tips for Teaching Others for Active Recall

      Preparation is key: Before you explain a concept to others, make sure you understand it yourself. Use the Traverse app to create mind maps and flashcards to aid your understanding.
      Simplify your explanations: Remember the Feynman Technique. If you can't explain a topic in simple terms, you probably don't understand it well enough.
      Ask for feedback: Encourage the person you're teaching to ask questions. This will not only clarify their understanding but also reveal any gaps in your knowledge.
      Practice, Practice, Practice: The more you teach, the better you'll get at it. So, grab every opportunity you get to explain what you've learned to others.
Remember, active recall is a powerful tool in your learning arsenal. By leveraging the teaching effect and incorporating it into your study sessions, you can supercharge your learning and memory retention. And with the Traverse app, you have a tool that is designed to support and enhance your active recall efforts. Happy teaching!


In this article, we've covered five genius active recall examples to help you maximize your study sessions. From using flashcards and diagrams to the whiteboard method, and even teaching others, the application of active recall techniques can significantly enhance your memory retention, making learning more efficient and effective.
We encourage you to start integrating these active recall examples into your study routines today. Whether you're tackling complex subjects like physics or mastering a new language, active recall can help you transform your learning experience. Remember, the key is not passive reading, but active retrieval of information.
As you implement these strategies, the Traverse app can be your ideal study partner. With its unique combination of mind mapping, spaced repetition flashcards, and connected note-taking, Traverse provides you with the tools you need to effectively encode, retain, and apply your knowledge. It's designed to cater to your individual needs, continually adjusting the frequency of review based on your performance. Additionally, the advanced note-taking features in Traverse enable you to work out your deeper thoughts in writing, keeping your thoughts organized and accessible.
In conclusion, active recall is a proven, science-backed method for learning that outperforms traditional study techniques. And with Traverse, you can easily implement active recall in your study sessions. As Dom, the founder of Traverse, puts it, "We're not just creating a language learning app, we're creating a deep, interconnected understanding of the subject matter."
So why wait? Take your study sessions to the next level with active recall and the Traverse app. Happy studying!
10x your learning
Improve your memory and thinking skills with our science-based method
Try Traverse Today
Try Traverse Today