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IES Grant

Title: Test-Enhanced Learning in the Classroom
Center: NCER Year: 2006
Principal Investigator: Roediger III, Henry Awardee: Washington University, St. Louis
Program: Cognition and Student Learning      [Program Details]
Award Period: 4 years Award Amount: $2,964,770
Goal: Efficacy and Replication Award Number: R305H060080
Description:

Purpose: Achievement of American students falls behind that of students in many other industrialized countries, especially in science and mathematics. This project builds on earlier work on test-enhanced learning, or the use of frequent quizzes as learning events. Test-enhanced learning has been shown to be highly effective in promoting student learning in laboratory situations. The purpose of this project is to import the Test-Enhanced Learning Program into school settings to examine its efficacy at two different educational levels.

Project Activities: The researchers will use the Test-Enhanced Learning Program to examine whether: (1) Testing enhances learning (better than repeated studying); (2) production tests (short answer or essay tests) produce better retention at delays than do recognition tests (multiple choice, true/false); (3) multiple tests are better than single tests in enhancing learning; and (4) immediate feedback improves the effect of testing, especially for facts missed on the tests. Although laboratory research supports all four principles, none has been thoroughly tested in an actual classroom setting using a true experimental design. The researchers will conduct a series of experiments in the classroom to test whether these principles are effective under actual classroom conditions.

Products: The products from this study include a better understanding of the efficacy of the Test-Enhanced Learning program, and published reports.

Setting: Study participants will come from a public school in Illinois, and from the University of New Mexico.

Population: The Illinois public school is in a rural setting that is middle- to upper middle class but has diversity in student achievement. The students are about 95% European American; students in 6th through 8th grades will participate, primarily in science and social studies classes. At the University of New Mexico, students are about 50% Hispanic or Native American (with approximately 5% African American and 45% European American).

Intervention: The Test-Enhanced Learning intervention consists of four interlocking principles: (1) Testing enhances learning (better than repeated studying), and students should be tested frequently; (2) Production tests (short answer or essay tests) produce better retention at delays than do recognition tests (multiple choice, true/false); (3) Multiple tests are better than single tests in enhancing learning; and (4) Immediate feedback improves the effect of testing, especially for facts missed on the tests. The researchers will conduct a series of four experiments in the classroom to test whether these principles are effective under actual classroom conditions. Students receiving the intervention will receive multiple quizzes and cumulative exams on classroom material, using either multiple-choice or short answer frameworks, and immediate feedback.

Research Design and Methods: A within-subjects design will be used. Experiments 1 and 2 will manipulate number and type (multiple choice versus short answer) of quizzes used, with two class sections each receiving a particular level of repeated quizzing for a particular unit. Experiment 3 will test the hypothesis that immediate feedback is more beneficial than testing without feedback. The testing manipulation will include three levels: testing with feedback, testing without feedback, and no testing. Experiment 4 will evaluate the most optimal testing intervention as determined by the previous experiments. A 2 X 2 within-subjects design will be used, with quiz (quiz present, no quiz) and question form (same form, different form) as factors. At the University of New Mexico, students from introductory psychology courses will undergo similar experimental manipulations focusing on introduction of novel versus repeated test items, and on multiple-choice versus short answer testing.

Control Condition: In this within-subjects design, students will serve as their own controls. In the control condition in Experiments 1 and 2, students will take the regular course exams.

Key Measures: Key measures will include performance on quizzes and cumulative exams.

Data Analytic Strategy: ANOVAs will be used to compare exam scores of students in the different testing conditions.

Related IES Projects: Test-Enhanced Learning (R305H030339) and Developing a Manual for Test-Enhanced Learning in the Classroom (R305A110550)

Publications

Book chapter

McDaniel, M. (2012). Put The SPRINT In Knowledge Training: Training With Spacing, Retrieval, and Interleaving. In A.F. Healy, and L.R. Bourne (Eds.), Training Cognition: Optimizing Efficiency, Durability, and Generalizability (pp. 267–286). NY: Psychology Press.

Roediger, H.L., Agarwal, P.K., Kang, S.H.K., and Marsh, E.J. (2010). Benefits of Testing Memory: Best Practices and Boundary Conditions. In G.M. Davies, and D.B. Wright (Eds.), Current Issues in Applied Memory Research (pp. 13–49). Hove, UK: Psychology Press.

Roediger, H.L., and Karpicke, J.D. (2010). Intricacies of Spaced Retrieval: A Resolution. In A.S. Benjamin (Ed.), Successful Remembering and Successful Forgetting: Essays in Honor of Robert A. Bjork (pp. 23–48). New York: Psychology Press.

Roediger, H.L., McDermott, K.B., and McDaniel, M.A. (2011). Using Testing to Improve Learning and Memory. In M.A. Gernsbacher, R. Pew, L. Hough, and J.R. Pomerantz (Eds.), Psychology and the Real World: Essays Illustrating Fundamental Contributions to Society (2nd ed., pp. 65–75). New York: Worth Publishing Company.

Journal article, monograph, or newsletter

Agarwal, P.K., Bain, P.M., and Chamberlain, R.W. (2012). The Value of Applied Research: Retrieval Practice Improves Classroom Learning and Recommendations From a Teacher, a Principal, and a Scientist. Educational Psychology Review, 24(3): 437–448.

Agarwal, P.K., Karpicke, J.D., Kang, S.H.K., Roediger, H.L., and McDermott, K.B. (2008). Examining the Testing Effect With Open- and Closed-Book Test. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 22(7): 861–876.

Butler, A.C., and Roediger, H.L. (2007). Testing Improves Long-Term Retention in a Simulated Classroom Setting. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 19(4): 514–527.

Butler, A.C., and Roediger, H.L. (2008). Feedback Enhances the Positive Effects and Reduces the Negative Effects of Multiple-Choice Testing. Memory and Cognition, 36(3): 604–616.

Butler, A.C., Karpicke, J.D., and Roediger, H.L., III (2007). The Effect of Type and Timing of Feedback on Learning From Multiple-Choice Tests. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 13(4): 273–281.

Butler, A.C., Karpicke, J.D., and Roediger, H.L., III (2008). Correcting a Metacognitive Error: Feedback Increases Retention of Low-Confidence Correct Responses. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 34(4): 918–928.

Butler, A.C., Zaromb, F.M. Lyle, K.B., and Roediger, H.L. (2009). Using Popular Films to Enhance Classroom Learning: The Good, the Bad, and the Interesting. Psychological Science, 20(9): 1161–1168.

Fazio, L.K., Agarwal, P.K., Marsh, E.J., and Roediger, H.L. (2010). Memorial Consequences of Multiple-Choice Testing on Immediate and Delayed Tests. Memory and Cognition, 38(4): 407–418.

Kang, S., McDermott, K.B., and Roediger, H.L. (2007). Test Format and Corrective Feedback Modulate the Effect of Testing on Memory Retention. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 19(4): 528–558.

Karpicke, J.D., and Roediger, H.L. (2007). Repeated Retrieval During Learning is the Key to Long-Term Retention. Journal of Memory and Language, 57(2): 151–162.

Karpicke, J.D., and Roediger, H.L. (2007). Expanding Retrieval Practice Promotes Short-Term Retention, but Equally Spaced Retrieval Enhances Long-Term Retention. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 33(4): 704–719.

Karpicke, J.D., and Roediger, H.L. (2010). Is Expanding Retrieval a Superior Method for Learning Text Materials?. Memory and Cognition, 38(1): 116–124.

Karpicke, J.D., Butler, A.C., and Roediger, H.L. (2009). Metacognitive Strategies in Student Learning: Do Students Practice Retrieval When They Study on Their Own?. Memory, 17(4): 471–479.

Larsen, D.P., Butler, A.C., and Roediger, H.L. (2008). Test-Enhanced Learning in Medical Education. Medical Education, 42: 959–966.

Larsen, D.P., Butler, A.C., and Roediger, H.L. (2009). Repeated Testing Improves Long-Term Retention Relative to Repeated Study: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Medical Education, 43: 1174–1181.

McDaniel, M.A., Agarwal, P.K., Huelser, B.J., McDermott, K.B., and Roediger, H.L. (2011). Test-Enhanced Learning in a Middle School Science Classroom: The Effects of Quiz Frequency and Placement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 103(2): 399–414.

McDaniel, M.A., Anderson, J.L., Derbish, M.H., and Morrisette, N. (2007). Testing the Testing Effect in the Classroom. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 19(4): 494–513.

Roediger, H.L. (2008). Relativity of Remembering: Why the Laws of Memory Vanished. Annual Review of Psychology, 59: 225–254.

Roediger, H.L., Agarwal, P., McDaniel, M.A., and McDermott, K.B. (2011). Test-Enhanced Learning in the Classroom: Long-Term Improvements From Quizzing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 17(4): 382–395.

Weinstein, Y., and Roediger, H.L. (2010). Retrospective Bias in Test Performance: Providing Easy Items at the Beginning of a Test Makes Students Believe They Did Better on It. Memory and Cognition, 38(3): 366–376.

Weinstein, Y., McDermott, K.B., and Roediger, H.L (2010). A Comparison of Study Strategies for Passages: Rereading, Answering Questions, and Generating Questions. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 16(3): 308–316.

Zaromb, F.M., and Roediger, H. L. (2010). The Testing Effect in Free Recall is Associated With Enhanced Organizational Processes. Memory and Cognition, 38(8): 995–1008.


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