Difference between revisions of "Vary your assessments and retrieval exercises."

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Altering the frequency and type of retrieval exercises and assessments used in the classroom heavily impacts your students' retention of information. Assessments should be cumulative in content, not only focusing on recently presented material, and focus on key concepts rather than random facts--this prevents students from 'selectively forgetting' certain concepts when studyingAlso, a study by Glover found that students' long-term retention of information was better when they were given multiple exams rather than a single, large one and professors consistently reviewed all concepts presented.  Altering retrieval exercises and test formats challenges the students and increases their information retention by forcing them to recall it under differing contexts.   
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[[File:Vary_Assements_.jpg|right|175px|‎]]
 
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Altering retrieval exercises and test formats challenges students and increases their information retention by forcing them to recall it under differing contexts. Assessments should be cumulative in content, not focusing only on recently presented material, and should assess students' ability to ''use'' key concepts rather than memorize random facts or definitions.  
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Glover (1989) found that students' long-term retention of information was better when they were given multiple exams rather than a single, large one and professors consistently reviewed and connected to concepts and skills from earlier in the course.  
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==Ideas for incorporation:==
 
==Ideas for incorporation:==
  
* Space out your assessments rather than giving a single, large one.   
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* Remember that assessment is '''formative''' as well as summative when designing courses, assignments, and exams.
 
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* Administer cumulative assessments in order to prevent selective forgetting.
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* Schedule '''multiple''', periodic assessments rather than giving a single, large exam.   
 
 
* Vary your tests formats in order to challenge students and increase their long-term memory.  Your course's assessments should not all be the same exact format--this fails to challenge your students and provides you and them with a false sense knowledge.  Uniform test formats make your course easy and non-engaging for students.   
 
  
* Vary your retrieval exercises.  Like in the case of assessments, varying your retrieval exercises challenges students to retrieve information under varying contexts and thus reinforces knowledge.  
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* Administer '''cumulative''' assessments in order to prevent selective forgetting.  
  
Click [http://www.cengage.com/economics/mceachern/theteachingeconomist/retrieval.html here] for a helpful article on retrieval tests.       
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* Use '''varied''' formats and exercises.  Uniform test formats fail to challenge students and provides you and them with a false sense of knowledge. Varying retrieval exercises challenges students to use information under varying contexts and reinforces knowledge and understanding. 
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* Consider these suggestions for putting together [[assignments]].
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See the WWC Quick Review of a new [http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/WWC/quickreview.aspx?sid=20011 study], “Daily Online Testing in Large Classes: Boosting College Performance While Reducing Achievement Gaps” (Pennebaker, J., Gosling, S. D., & Ferrell, J. D. (2013). PLoS One 8(11): e79774. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.007977).
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Retrieval is an effective way to learn complex concepts. See this [http://www.cengage.com/economics/mceachern/theteachingeconomist/retrieval.html article] on retrieval tests at William McEachern's THE TEACHING ECONOMIST.       
  
  
 
{{hidden|Sources|
 
{{hidden|Sources|
 
Glover, J. A. (1989). The "testing" phenomenon: Not gone but nearly forgotten. Journal of Educational Psychology, 81, 392-399.  
 
Glover, J. A. (1989). The "testing" phenomenon: Not gone but nearly forgotten. Journal of Educational Psychology, 81, 392-399.  
Click [http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/recordDetails.jsp?searchtype=advanced&pageSize=10&ERICExtSearch_SearchCount=1&ERICExtSearch_Facet_0=facet_au&ERICExtSearch_FacetValue_0=%22Glover%2C+John%22&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=Glover&eric_displayStartCount=1&ERICExtSearch_Operator_1=and&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_1=kw&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=kw&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_1=Glover%2C+J.+A.+%281989%29.+The+%22testing%22+phenomenon%3A+Not+gone+but+nearly+forgotten.+Journal+of+Educational+Psychology%2C+81%2C+392-399.&_pageLabel=RecordDetails&objectId=0900019b80120bbb&accno=EJ399803&_nfls=false here] to access the study.
 
  
McEachern, William A. "THE TEACHING ECONOMIST." The Teaching Economist. Cengage Learning, 2008. Web. 10 June 2011. <http://www.cengage.com/economics/mceachern/theteachingeconomist/issue_34/index.html>.  Click [http://www.cengage.com/economics/mceachern/theteachingeconomist/issue_34/index.html here] to access the article.}}
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McEachern, William A. "THE TEACHING ECONOMIST." The Teaching Economist. Cengage Learning, 2008. Web. 10 June 2011. <http://www.cengage.com/economics/mceachern/theteachingeconomist/issue_34/index.html>
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Latest revision as of 10:41, 12 May 2020

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Altering retrieval exercises and test formats challenges students and increases their information retention by forcing them to recall it under differing contexts. Assessments should be cumulative in content, not focusing only on recently presented material, and should assess students' ability to use key concepts rather than memorize random facts or definitions.

Glover (1989) found that students' long-term retention of information was better when they were given multiple exams rather than a single, large one and professors consistently reviewed and connected to concepts and skills from earlier in the course.

Ideas for incorporation:

  • Remember that assessment is formative as well as summative when designing courses, assignments, and exams.
  • Schedule multiple, periodic assessments rather than giving a single, large exam.
  • Administer cumulative assessments in order to prevent selective forgetting.
  • Use varied formats and exercises. Uniform test formats fail to challenge students and provides you and them with a false sense of knowledge. Varying retrieval exercises challenges students to use information under varying contexts and reinforces knowledge and understanding.
  • Consider these suggestions for putting together assignments.


See the WWC Quick Review of a new study, “Daily Online Testing in Large Classes: Boosting College Performance While Reducing Achievement Gaps” (Pennebaker, J., Gosling, S. D., & Ferrell, J. D. (2013). PLoS One 8(11): e79774. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.007977).

Retrieval is an effective way to learn complex concepts. See this article on retrieval tests at William McEachern's THE TEACHING ECONOMIST.