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      Pre-emptive intervention and its effect on student attainment and retention

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          Abstract

          This paper describes how a small educational technology (edtech) company worked with academics, combining technological expertise, science content expertise, pedagogy and social research methodology to develop and evaluate the effect of video feedback on learners’ ability to answer science questions correctly. The investigation was carried out by the research team in Tassomai as part of their involvement with the EDUCATE programme. The Tassomai team worked with the research mentors in EDUCATE to find the best ways of helping students both to understand science concepts and to help them correctly answer science questions in exams. Findings indicated that, as expected, the video feedback helped learners to answer the question correctly, but also that, after a delay of around one week, a higher proportion of those students were still able to answer the question correctly compared to those in a control group of learners who did not have access to the related instructive video. The collaborative work between the Tassomai research team and the EDUCATE business and research mentors provided an environment to share expertise and channel it to improve Tassomai’s offering to learners. As a result of this study, Tassomai is now investing in the production of more instructive videos to help students understand difficult science concepts, and students will be offered these videos if they are having difficulty in answering the questions correctly.

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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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            Feedback: focusing attention on engagement

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              Does continuous assessment in higher education support student learning?

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                rfa
                Research for All
                UCL Press (UK )
                2399-8121
                16 February 2021
                : 5
                : 1
                : 36-51
                Affiliations
                Tassomai, London, UK
                UCL Institute of Education, UK
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Email: murray@ 123456tassomai.com
                Article
                10.14324/RFA.05.1.05
                Copyright © 2021 Morrison, Blake, Embleton-Smith, Gosiewski and Zvesper

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY) 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 7, References: 9, Pages: 17
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