ERIC Number: EJ1036014
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Aug
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 39
Influence of PBL with Open-Book Tests on Knowledge Retention Measured with Progress Tests
Heijne-Penninga, M.; Kuks, J. B. M.; Hofman, W. H. A.; Muijtjens, A. M. M.; Cohen-Schotanus, J.
Advances in Health Sciences Education, v18 n3 p485-495 Aug 2013
The influence of problem-based learning (PBL) and open-book tests on long-term knowledge retention is unclear and subject of discussion. Hypotheses were that PBL as well as open-book tests positively affect long-term knowledge retention. Four progress test results of fifth and sixth-year medical students (n = 1,648) of three medical schools were analyzed. Two schools had PBL driven curricula, and the third one had a traditional curriculum (TC). One of the PBL schools (PBLob) used a combination of open-book (assessing backup knowledge) and closed-book tests (assessing core knowledge); the other two schools (TC and PBLcb) only used closed-book tests. The items of the progress tests were divided into core and backup knowledge. "T" tests (with Bonferroni correction) were used to analyze differences between curricula. PBL students performed significantly better than TC students on "core" knowledge (average effect size (av ES) = 0.37-0.74) and PBL students tested with open-book tests scored somewhat higher than PBL students tested without such tests (av ES = 0.23-0.30). Concerning backup knowledge, no differences were found between the scores of the three curricula. Students of the two PBL curricula showed a substantially better long-term knowledge retention than TC students. PBLob students performed somewhat better on core knowledge than PBLcb students. These outcomes suggest that a problem-based instructional approach in particular can stimulate long-term knowledge retention. Distinguishing knowledge into core and backup knowledge and using open-book tests alongside closed-book tests could enhance long-term "core" knowledge retention.
Descriptors: Medical Students, Medical Education, Problem Based Learning, Measures (Individuals), Comparative Analysis, Retention (Psychology), Tests
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A