Brown Bag Talk by Dr. Steven Pan on “Interleaved Practice and Problem-Solving Skills in Undergraduate Physics” | 25 Oct 2022, 4pm

Dr. Steven Pan

Interleaved Practice and Problem-Solving Skills in Undergraduate Physics

25 October 2022 (Tuesday), 4pm



Perhaps inspired by the adage that practice makes perfect, many learners commonly focus on one skill at a time to the exclusion of others. For example, when learning skills A, B, and C, one might study or practice skill A by itself, then skill B by itself, and so on. This method of scheduling one’s learning, which is also known as “blocking,” is endorsed by teachers, coaches, and instructional guides. However, mixing several skills in an “interleaved” training schedule – for example, alternating between skills A, B, and C – can in some cases yield substantial learning improvements relative to the usual one-at-a-time approach. I will present new research on interleaved practice, focusing on the acquisition of problem-solving skills in the domain of undergraduate physics. This research has important implications for instructional practice, the science of learning, and anyone who wants to learn more effectively.


I am an Assistant Professor and director of the Learning Sciences Laboratory in the Department of Psychology at the National University of Singapore. My research addresses human learning and memory processes and the optimisation of those processes, with a goal of generating durable and flexible learning. I use methods ranging from laboratory, classroom, and online experiments to surveys and meta-analyses. For further information, please visit:

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