Neuro News provides a rich source of information for educators on the latest studies on neuroscience and education as well as tips to best apply the information in the classroom. For example, in a recent post, Willy Wood wrote about the power of retrieval for learning.
Back in 1885, Hermann Ebbinghaus published studies that showed that we tend to lose about 70 percent of what we learn within the first 24 hours and the rest within a week or a month. This forgetting process can, however, be interrupted by asking students to retrieve what they have learned in a specific pattern to optimize remembering.
Information should be recalled on the same day the student learned it, again the next day, and again a week and then a month later. One strategy here could be offering students a quick quiz at the end of a day, which helps solidify the material in their brains. Quizzing is important because unlike, for example, reviewing notes, quizzes require students to retrieve the information they already have, thus strengthening the neuronal connection to that information.
This is part of the reason cramming for a test is so ineffective--reviewing information stores it in working memory which will be immediately lost. Pop quizzes provide an opportunity for effortful recall, and the work students must do to remember reinforces what they have already learned, making it much likelier that they will remember the material later.