Abstract

Cognitive scientists and psychology researchers have given growing attention to evidence of the testing effect, that is, the improvement of students' recall through memory-retrieval practice in the form of quizzes and exams. While laboratory experiments consistently show dramatic positive effects on learning through the testing effect, discipline-specific education researchers have sought to generalize these findings in real, instead of simulated classrooms. The objective of this dissertation was threefold: (1) To survey the current literature on the testing-effect as it applies to learning biology at the post-secondary level. In this review, I consider how further research on the testing effect may be useful for instructors' decisions regarding its use. (2) To describe findings from a qua¬si-experimental design in a post-secondary biology class with low and high point incentives and measured student learning. Although exposure to exams predicted better learning, incentive level did not moderate this effect, an outcome that contradicted recent laboratory findings that higher incentives decreased student recall. (3) To describe findings from a study that compared student learning in conditions where cued exams were in place versus conditions in which they were absent. Student learning improved in the former condition relative to the latter. I discuss the implications of the results in all of these studies for further research and application.

Degree

PhD

College and Department

Biology

Rights

https://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2021-04-02

Document Type

Dissertation

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd11560

Keywords

Test-Enhanced Learning, Post-Secondary, Biology Education, STEM, Testing Effect

Language

english

Included in

Life Sciences Commons

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