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ERIC Number: ED509985
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar-19
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 11
How Much Do Students Remember from an Introductory Psychology Course?
Herman, William E.
Online Submission, Paper presented at the Annual Conference on the Teaching of Psychology: Ideas & Innovations (24th, Tarrytown, NY, Mar 19, 2010)
Nearly 100 students were given a Pre-Test in psychology on the first day of class without warning in order to assess their knowledge of basic course content derived from the prerequisites of the course (PSYC-100 Introduction to Psychology or PSYC-220 Child Development) and other life experiences. This was intended as a low-stakes testing situation, since students were assured that the results were to be used only for curricular/instructional decision making and the results would have no impact upon the student's grade in the course. The Pre-Test was found to explain 12% of the variance in final course grade average. This research report contains an item analysis of the Pre-Test depicting the extent of psychological knowledge students brought with them to the class. The achievement results were very disappointing. For example, only 2 students knew the names and proper order of Piaget's 4 stages of cognitive development. The author hypothesized that even some fundamental psychological knowledge that was retained from previous learning allowed students to more effectively and efficiently re-learn such content for the new target course. This pedagogical research supported the use of the existing pre-requisite for the course, but extreme caution is urged when instructors assume that a substantial and accurate knowledge base in psychology is brought to the learning context based upon satisfying the pre-requisite course requirement. (Contains 3 tables.)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A