Test Enhanced Learning in a Classroom Setting
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Test-enhanced learning (TEL) states that the act of taking a test helps improve long-term retention of information. Studies in laboratory and real-world settings have indicated that compared to traditional methods of studying, testing results in superior retention of information. Additionally, it has been found that students who reread material experience illusions of confidence, believing they are more prepared than they actually are. The present study assessed test-enhanced learning in a college classroom setting. We hypothesized that students who took quizzes in preparation for an exam would perform better on the exam, in comparison to students who read summaries or viewed a cartoon about the same material. We also hypothesized that due to illusions of confidence when rereading material, students who read summaries would be more confident in their preparedness and spend less time studying, in comparison to students who took quizzes or viewed cartoons. Results did not support the hypotheses. A noteworthy limitation and possible explanation for the results was that many students failed to complete the quiz, summary, and cartoon activities. Therefore, they did not receive as substantial an exposure to the conditions as was intended. For future directions, finding a way to ensure students comply and complete all activities will give a more accurate indication of whether the testing effect is manifested in a classroom setting with the experimental design we employed.