The ‘testing effect’ in the real world

by on February 4, 2015 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: Rapid Learning Insights
bigstock-A-number-two-pencil-rests-on-a-32587910

We’ve reported on the learning power of tests and quizzes in previous issues. But the majority of that evidence was based on lab experiments, where conditions are tightly controlled.

So what about learning in the real world, where things are messier?

Researchers conducted an experiment in several eighth-grade science classrooms in Illinois. They divided students into two groups. Both groups received the same initial instruction. For reinforcement, one group had three review sessions while the other group took three quizzes.

On the final test, members of the quiz group scored 13 to 25% higher. During the study period, the average grade for the quiz group was A-; for the review group, it was C+. And on a follow-up exam eight months later, the testing group did better.

Check out the Leadership & Management Rapid Learning Center FREE. Get instant access to a collection of 6- to 10-minute, mobile-friendly modules perfect for training supervisors and managers throughout your organization.

Trainer takeaway: Keep those quizzes coming. They’re a proven, powerful way to get learning to stick. For example, you might give follow-up quizzes the day after, a week after and month after the training is concluded. (For more on optimal reinforcement schedules, see Rapid Learning Insights vol. 1, no. 1).

Source: McDaniel, M. A., et al. (2011). Test-enhanced learning in a middle school science classroom: The effects of quiz frequency and placement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 103, 399-414.

Click to View Comments

Leave a Reply

Close

Request a Free Demo

We'd love to show you how this industry-leading training system can help you develop your team. Please fill out this quick form or give us a call at 877-792-2172 to schedule your one-on-one demo with a Rapid Learning Specialist.