Examining the Testing Effect in an Introductory Psychology Course
Type of Degreedissertation
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This study examined the effects of repeated testing in an Introductory Psychology course. Student performance on items repeated from quizzes to exams (either unit, cumulative, or both) was compared to items that had not been previously administered. In addition, we examined unit and cumulative exam performance by the format of quiz items (multiple-choice, short-answer, or summary study items) to examine differences resulting from original format. We found that prior exposure to, not prior testing of, items was beneficial for enhanced performance on later assessments. Although students performed better on multiple-choice quiz questions, there were no differences in performance for repeated multiple-choice, repeated short-answer, or study items on either unit or cumulative exams. We performed a series of regression analyses on four individual difference variables: aptitude, academic achievement, learning strategies, and study skills. Academic achievement was the single best predictor for the benefit of testing.