The January 2013 edition of the Association for Pyschological Science's journal has a great article about what impacts students' learning. What they found is that certain techniques and strategies have a positive impact on students learning content (and should be continued) and that certain techniques and strategies have little to no impact on student learning (and should be stopped).
The strategies with little impact include summarizing content, highlighting, and rereading material and notes.
The strategies that had a positive impact were ones that fell into the category of taking practice tests.
Some may find those results surprising. Strong AFL teachers shouldn't be surprised at all. AFL teachers know that Memory is the Residue of Thought. AFL teachers know that students and teachers need the feedback that comes from regular practice. Teachers who, for example, have used regular Quia quizzes to prepare students and to gain benchmark data know and attest to the value of taking practice tests.
What was disturbing, though, was the finding that having students prepare/study by rereading notes and by using the highlighter method was more common than having students take regular practice assessments.
It's time to put away the highlighters and break out the practice tests!
Here is a link to the APS study: http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/journals/pspi/learning-techniques.html
RECOMMENDED READING: Here is a link to a post about the study found on the AJC Get Schooled blog: http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2013/01/11/how-to-study-stop-highlighting-stop-cramming-stop-rereading-notes-start-taking-practice-tests-and-using-flash-cards/