Classroom versus individual working memory assessment: predicting academic achievement and the role of attention and response inhibition

Ilona Friso-van den Bos, Eva van de Weijer-Bergsma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
33 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Working memory (WM) is an important predictor for academic learning and achievement. Typically, children’s WM is assessed in controlled testing situations, which might not reflect functioning in typical classroom learning situations with natural distractions. In this study, we compared WM performance in controlled and classroom situations and their predictive value for academic achievement. Also, we examined whether performance differences between situations were moderated by attention or response inhibition. In a within-subjects design, primary school children completed visuospatial and verbal WM tasks in two settings (classroom versus controlled individual setting). First, WM functioning was lower in the classroom setting. Second, attention moderated individual differences in this discrepancy between settings, but response inhibition did not. Third, classroom obtained verbal WM scores were the strongest predictors of academic achievement. Our results indicate that classroom assessment of verbal WM provides a more ecologically valid measurement of WM abilities in a real-life learning situation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-82
Number of pages13
JournalMemory
Volume28
Issue number1
Early online date23 Oct 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • attention
  • classroom assessment
  • response inhibition
  • Working memory
  • academic achievement

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