ERIC Number: ED551353
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Nov-5
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 15
College Students' Memory for Unannounced Cumulative Items on the Final Exam
Aagaard, Lola; Templeton, Jenny; Conner, Timothy W., II; Skidmore, Ronald L.
Online Submission, Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association (Knoxville, TN, Nov 5-7, 2014)
Although there has been much published research on the benefits of distributed practice (Cepeda, Pashler, Vul, Wixted, & Rohrer, 2006) and the testing effect (Eisenkraemer, Jaeger, & Stein, 2013), very few studies are available regarding cumulative testing in college courses. Those available show a benefit to cumulative testing (Lawrence, 2014; Rohm, Sparzo, & Bennett, 1986; Szpunar, McDermott, & Roediger, 2007). As baseline information for a future study of cumulative testing, the current study investigated how well 150 college students recalled previous material when given unannounced cumulative items on a final exam. (Cumulative items were not counted toward students' grades.) Four sections of an undergraduate human development class formed the sample. Two professors taught two sections each and administered separately-developed exams throughout the semester. For the final exam, each professor chose ten multiple-choice items from each of the first and second tests of the semester to include on the final exam. The number of students missing the items on the final was compared to the number missing the same items earlier in the semester. A paired t-test showed a statistically significant increase in the overall number of students missing the items on the final exam. The size of the difference did not depend on whether the items were from Test 1 or Test 2, although it did differ by professor, with an effect size of 0.38 for Professor A and 1.15 for Professor B. A Pearson's correlation between the overall number of students missing each item before and on the final was 0.51, indicating that items previously missed by larger numbers of students were not necessarily the ones missed by the most students on the final exam. This correlation differed by professor, as well (0.65 for Professor A; 0.45 for Professor B).
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A