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 quaÂ¬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.
College and Department
Life Sciences; Biology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
St. Clair, Bryn Ellen, "Test-Enhanced Learning in Post-Secondary Biology Courses: The Effect of Cues and Incentives on High-Level Learning" (2021). Theses and Dissertations. 8920.
Test-Enhanced Learning, Post-Secondary, Biology Education, STEM, Testing Effect