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ERIC Number: EJ965051
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 23
ISSN: ISSN-0260-2938
Conditions Affecting the Usefulness of Pre- and Post-Tests for Assessment Purposes
Boyas, Elise; Bryan, Lois D.; Lee, Tanya
Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, v37 n4 p427-437 2012
Interest in measuring and evaluating student learning in higher education is growing. There are many tools available to assess student learning. However, the use of such tools may be more or less appropriate under various conditions. This study provides some evidence related to the appropriate use of pre/post-tests. The question of whether graded tests elicit a higher level of performance (better representation of actual learning gains) than ungraded post-tests is examined. We examine whether the difficulty level of the questions asked (knowledge/comprehension vs. analysis/application) affects this difference. We test whether the student's level in the degree programme affects this difference. Results indicate that post-tests may not demonstrate the full level of student mastery of learning objectives and that both the difficulty level of the questions asked and the level of students in their degree programme affect the difference between graded and ungraded assessments. Some of these differences may be due to causes other than grades on the assessments. Students may have benefited from the post-test, as a review of the material, or from additional studying between the post-test and the final examination. Results also indicate that pre-tests can be useful in identifying appropriate changes in course materials over time. (Contains 5 tables.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A