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      Using quizzes to enhance summative-assessment performance in a web-based class: An experimental study

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      Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition
      Elsevier BV

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          Test-enhanced learning: taking memory tests improves long-term retention.

          Taking a memory test not only assesses what one knows, but also enhances later retention, a phenomenon known as the testing effect. We studied this effect with educationally relevant materials and investigated whether testing facilitates learning only because tests offer an opportunity to restudy material. In two experiments, students studied prose passages and took one or three immediate free-recall tests, without feedback, or restudied the material the same number of times as the students who received tests. Students then took a final retention test 5 min, 2 days, or 1 week later. When the final test was given after 5 min, repeated studying improved recall relative to repeated testing. However, on the delayed tests, prior testing produced substantially greater retention than studying, even though repeated studying increased students' confidence in their ability to remember the material. Testing is a powerful means of improving learning, not just assessing it.
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            The Power of Testing Memory: Basic Research and Implications for Educational Practice.

            A powerful way of improving one's memory for material is to be tested on that material. Tests enhance later retention more than additional study of the material, even when tests are given without feedback. This surprising phenomenon is called the testing effect, and although it has been studied by cognitive psychologists sporadically over the years, today there is a renewed effort to learn why testing is effective and to apply testing in educational settings. In this article, we selectively review laboratory studies that reveal the power of testing in improving retention and then turn to studies that demonstrate the basic effects in educational settings. We also consider the related concepts of dynamic testing and formative assessment as other means of using tests to improve learning. Finally, we consider some negative consequences of testing that may occur in certain circumstances, though these negative effects are often small and do not cancel out the large positive effects of testing. Frequent testing in the classroom may boost educational achievement at all levels of education.
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              Retrieval-induced facilitation: initially nontested material can benefit from prior testing of related material.

              Classroom exams can assess students' knowledge of only a subset of the material taught in a course. What are the implications of this approach for long-term retention? Three experiments (N = 210) examined how taking an initial test affects later memory for prose materials not initially tested. Experiment 1 shows that testing enhanced recall 24 hr later for the initially nontested material. This facilitation was not seen for participants given additional study opportunities without initial testing. Experiment 2 extends this facilitative effect to a within-subjects design. Experiment 3 demonstrates that this facilitation can be modulated by conscious strategies. These results have implications for educational practice and the theoretical developments of the testing effect, associative memory, and retrieval inhibition.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition
                Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition
                Elsevier BV
                22113681
                March 2012
                March 2012
                : 1
                : 1
                : 18-26
                Article
                10.1016/j.jarmac.2011.10.001
                5f7f06b3-0143-4422-a064-13eeff382162
                © 2012

                http://www.elsevier.com/tdm/userlicense/1.0/


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