Monday, January 24, 2011

To Really Learn, Quit Studying and Take a Test

Finally!  Research has proven my theory that testing actually increases learning!

A New York Times article (1/20/2011)To Really Learn, Quit Studying and Take a Test” by Pam Belluck reported that new research indicates that taking a test is not just a passive mechanism for assessing how much people know. It actually helps people learn, and it works more effectively than a number of other studying techniques such as repeatedly studying the material or by having students draw detailed diagrams documenting what they are learning which forces students to make connections among facts.

The research referenced “Retrieval Practice Produces More Learning than Elaborative Studying with Concept Mapping” was conducted by Jeffrey D. Karpicke and Janell R. Blunt of the Department of Psychological Sciences, Purdue University.

I have always thought that a test should be used as one of many teaching tools, but we sometimes get lost in what the overall score is telling us and not in what the components of the test are telling us. I hope you will read this entire article and the related research. It may change the way that you think about testing!

Also see: Top 20 Resources for a Successful Testing Program

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