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ERIC Number: EJ934340
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0663
Test-Enhanced Learning in a Middle School Science Classroom: The Effects of Quiz Frequency and Placement
McDaniel, Mark A.; Agarwal, Pooja K.; Huelser, Barbie J.; McDermott, Kathleen B.; Roediger, Henry L., III
Journal of Educational Psychology, v103 n2 p399-414 May 2011
Typically, teachers use tests to evaluate students' knowledge acquisition. In a novel experimental study, we examined whether low-stakes testing ("quizzing") can be used to foster students' learning of course content in 8th grade science classes. Students received multiple-choice quizzes (with feedback); in the quizzes, some target content that would be included on the class summative assessments was tested, and some of the target content was not tested. In Experiment 1, three quizzes on the content were spaced across the coverage of a unit. Quizzing produced significant learning benefits, with between 13% and 25% gains in performance on summative unit examinations. In Experiments 2a and 2b, we manipulated the placement of the quizzing, with students being quizzed on some content prior to the lecture, quizzed on some immediately after the lecture, and quizzed on some as a review prior to the unit exam. Review quizzing produced the greatest increases in exam performance, and these increases were only slightly augmented when the items had appeared on previous quizzes. The benefits of quizzing (relative to not quizzing) persisted on cumulative semester and end-of-year exams. We suggest that the present effects reflect benefits accruing to retrieval practice, benefits that are well established in the basic literature. (Contains 10 tables.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 8
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R305A110550; R305H060080