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Task Interspersal

Description of the Strategy

Task interspersal is an instructional strategy that involves intermingling easy and hard teaching trials as a tactic to maintain student motivation. This approach differs from the more common strategy of presenting multiple massed trials of a constant type of task (e.g., repeated multidigit multiplication problems). Instead, tasks that differ in difficulty from a target task are alternated with presentations of the target task. For example, rather than presenting only unknown sightreading words, previously learned words are interspersed with the unknown words.

Designing interspersed instruction involves collecting a pool of tasks to intersperse amid presentations of a target task. These tasks, either previously mastered (referred to as maintenance) or highly preferred, should be brief and associated with a history of ...

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