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Explicit feedback to enhance the effect of an interim assessment: a cross-over study on learning effect and gender difference

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      Abstract

      In a previous study we demonstrated by a prospective controlled design that an interim assessment during an ongoing small group work (SGW) session resulted in a higher score in the course examination. As this reflects the so-called testing effect, which is supposed to be enhanced by feedback, we investigated whether feedback following an interim assessment would have an effect on the score of the course exam, and whether the effect is influenced by the gender of the student. During a General Pathology bachelor course all 386 (bio) medical students took an interim assessment on the topics cell damage (first week) and tumour pathology (fourth week). The intervention consisted of immediate detailed oral feedback on the content of the questions of the interim assessment by the tutor, including the rationale of the correct and incorrect answers. It concerned a prospective randomized study using a cross-over design. Outcome measures were: (1) the difference in the normalized scores (1–10) of the course examination multiple choice questions related to the two topics, (2) effect of gender, and (3) gender-specific scores on formal examination. The effect of feedback was estimated as half the difference in the outcome between the two conditions. Mixed-model analysis was used whereby the SGW group was taken as the study target. The scores of the questions on cell damage amounted to 7.70 (SD 1.59) in the group without and 7.78 (SD 1.39) in the group with feedback, and 6.73 (SD 1.51) and 6.77 (SD 1.60), respectively, for those on tumour pathology. No statistically significant effect of feedback was found: 0.02 on a scale of 1–10 (95 % CI: −0.20; 0.25). There were no significant interactions of feedback with gender. Female students scored 0.43 points higher on the formal examination in comparison with their male colleagues. No additional effect of immediate explicit feedback following an interim assessment during an SGW session in an ongoing bachelor course could be demonstrated in this prospective randomized controlled study. Gender analysis revealed a higher performance of female students on the formal examination, which could not be explained by the effect of feedback in the current study. In this particular learning environment, SGW, explicit feedback may have little added value to the interactive learning that includes implicit feedback.

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      The Power of Feedback

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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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          Formative assessment and self‐regulated learning: a model and seven principles of good feedback practice

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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [ ]Department of Anatomy, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, PO Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, the Netherlands
            [ ]Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Health Technology Assessment, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, the Netherlands
            [ ]Department of Pathology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, the Netherlands
            Contributors
            +31-(0)24-3617625 , +31-(0)24-3613789 , d.ruiter@pathol.umcn.nl,
            Journal
            Perspect Med Educ
            Perspect Med Educ
            Perspectives on Medical Education
            Bohn Stafleu van Loghum (Heidelberg )
            2212-2761
            2212-277X
            27 September 2012
            27 September 2012
            November 2012
            : 1
            : 4
            : 180-191
            23205343
            3508280
            27
            10.1007/s40037-012-0027-y
            © The Author(s) 2012
            Categories
            Original Article
            Custom metadata
            © the authors 2012

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