A potential concern of formative testing using web-based applications (“apps”) is provision of limited feedback. Adopting a randomised controlled trial in 463 first year (bio) medical students, we explored if providing immediate, detailed feedback during “app”-based formative testing can further improve study behaviour and study performance of (bio)medical students.
Students had access to a formative testing “app”, which involved 7 formative test modules throughout the 4-week course. In a randomised order, subjects received the “app” with ( n = 231, intervention) or without ( n = 232, control) detailed feedback during the formative test modules.
No differences in app-use was found between groups ( P = 0.15), whereas the intervention group more frequently reviewed information compared to controls ( P = 0.007). Exam scores differed between non−/moderate−/intensive- users of the “app” ( P < 0.001). No differences in exam scores were found between intervention (6.6 ± 1.1) versus control (6.6 ± 1.1, P = 0.18). Time spent studying was significantly higher compared to previous courses in moderate- and intensive-users ( P = 0.006 and < 0.001, respectively), but not in non-users ( P = 0.55). Time spent studying did not differ between groups ( P > 0.05).