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ERIC Number: EJ951781
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1935-9772
Testing to Enhance Retention in Human Anatomy
Logan, Jessica M.; Thompson, Andrew J.; Marshak, David W.
Anatomical Sciences Education, v4 n5 p243-248 Sep-Oct 2011
Recent work in cognitive psychology has shown that repeatedly testing one's knowledge is a powerful learning aid and provides substantial benefits for retention of the material. To apply this in a human anatomy course for medical students, 39 fill-in-the-blank quizzes of about 50 questions each, one for each region of the body, and four about the nervous system, were developed. The quizzes were optional, and no credit was awarded. They were posted online using Blackboard, which provided feedback, and they were very popular. To determine whether the quizzes had any effect on retention, they were given in a controlled setting to 21 future medical and dental students. The weekly quizzes included questions on regional anatomy and an expanded set of questions on the nervous system. Each question about the nervous system was given three times, in a slightly different form each time. The second quiz was given approximately half an hour after the first one, and the third was given one week after the second to assess retention. The quizzes were unpopular, but students showed robust improvement on the questions about the nervous system. The scores increased by almost 9% on the second quiz, with no intervention except viewing the correct answers. The scores were 29% higher on the third quiz than on the first, and there was also a positive correlation between the grades on the quizzes and the final examination. Thus, repeated testing is an effective strategy for learning and retaining information about human anatomy. (Contains 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas