Testing whether students have learned and processed information, even a day or more after reviewing the material, is not enough to ensure that they have completed the three main learning stages: encoding, consolidation, and retrieval. While students may correctly answer questions in a predictable academic environment, they may not be able to recall the details in real-world situations or when anxious about test taking.
Mnemonics are a classic way of recalling complex information and include the use of keywords, acronyms, and rhymes. Complex materials require complex mnemonic strategies, such as storytelling, or chaining. This involves the use of keywords in ways that are linked together through overarching stories, often fantastical and not directly linked to what is being memorized.
Similar to storytelling, the locus (place) method also employs keywords, but in reference to items within specific familiar spaces, such as a room or a park. Actual items are transformed into objects in the mind, in ways that allow them to be recalled as keywords in a specific locational order.