Testing effect works with silent answers
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Testing effect works with silent answers

You know about testing effects: that quizzing trainees will help them recall answers better on future tests. One set of researchers wondered: Does it matter if trainees just think of an answer, or do they need to speak it or type it?

Researchers examined all three modes of responses in word-pair tests. Shown one half the word pair, subjects either typed, spoke, or thought of the second word in the pair.

Then researchers administered a final exam to test the learners’ recall. The study found the same robust results from the testing effect no matter which mode the learners used.

Application for trainers: Go ahead and ask the class a question without worrying that everyone must respond.

As long as trainees are paying attention (and you can usually detect the body language), you’re helping to lock in the learning, even if you don’t call on them.

Source: Putnam, A.L. & Roediger, H.L. III (2012). Does response mode affect amount recalled or the magnitude of the testing effect? Mem Cogn, doi 10.3758/s13421-012-0245-x

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