Practice makes perfect? Assessing the effectiveness of online practice exams in blended learning biology classes

J. D. Walker, D. Christopher Brooks, Kyle Hammond, Bruce A. Fall, Richard W. Peifer, Rogene Schnell, Janet L. Schottel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Empirical research on the use of practice exams or quizzes does not yield a clear verdict about whether such exams improve student performance, however. A number of studies have yielded results favoring the use of formative quizzes and exams. Johnson and Kiviniemi (2009) found that compulsory reading quizzes improved students’ exam and overall course performance. DeSouza and Fleming (2003) compared online quizzes with paper quizzes and found a performance advantage for the online format, possibly because online quizzes remove spatial and temporal constraints. Hadsell (2009) studied quiz timing and concluded that completing quizzes shortly after relevant material is presented in class improves exam performance. Similar findings were reported by Dobson (2008), Brar, Laube, and Bett. (2007), Grimstad and Grabe (2004), Maki, Maki, Patterson, and Wittaker (2000), and Olson and McDonald (2004). In contrast, many investigations have produced null results. For instance, Azorlosa and Renner (2006), Wilder, Flood, and Stromsnes (2001), and Haberyan (2003) gave in-class quizzes, but produced no evidence of improved exam performance. Palmer and Devitt (2008) reached similar conclusions, as did Brothen and Wambach (2001), and Peat and Franklin (2003).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBlended Learning
Subtitle of host publicationResearch Perspectives, Volume 2
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Pages150-158
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781134742028
ISBN (Print)9780415632508
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

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