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1)      Teaching of Psychology, 33(2), 109-112.
 
The authors wanted to investigate if prelecture quizzes increased exam performance in students in a sensation and perception course in comparison to no-quiz control groups. The quizzes tested initial proficiency of basic terms and concepts contained in assigned reading. The quizzes were either matching or fill-in-the-blank questions depending on the semester. They also included in their study course evaluation responses and estimates of how long the students spent preparing for class meetings and examinations. They also tape-recorded classes to reveal the types of questions students asked. They chose prelecture quizzes because previous research has indicated that the success of post-lecture quizzes was contingent on the quizzes and the subsequent exams being of similar level and content. Their study was conducted over 5 consecutive semesters without varying the instructor, text, lecture content, and exam questions. Their results clearly demonstrate that prelecture quizzes improve student performance and satisfaction. In my original research problem, I was planning on administering post-lecture quizzes. But after reading this article, I am reconsidering this plan given the contingencies that authors mentioned. I am now thinking that pre-lecture quizzes may be way to go. This article also provided me with additional data to collect from the students in regard to preparation, course evaluation, etc. 
 
2)      Connor-Greene, P.A. (2000). Assessing and Promoting Student Learning: Blurring the Line Between Teaching and Testing. Teaching of Psycholgoy, 27(2), 84-88.
 
In the background of this article, the author points out that many faculty emphasize critical thinking, active learning, and problem solving in their classroom, yet their tests do not encourage this. In other words, if we as teachers value a behavior or form of learning, then we must assess it. Therefore, the author replaced scheduled tests with daily essay quizzes as a combined teaching and assessment tool. She too evaluated student perceptions and self-reported behaviors related to the daily quizzes. The quizzes in her women and psychology course consisted of 2 brief essay questions from required reading and previous lecture material that required multiple levels of thinking rather than recall. She compared this ccourse to an Abnormal Psychology course in which students received 4 scheduled tests. The results showed that student study behavior is strongly influenced by tests.   The author points out that although it is perceived that daily quizzes maximize student learning, an analysis of student grades between the 2 groups (daily quiz group versus 4 scheduled tests group) showed no difference. The author did mention thatthe focus of her study was on student perceptions and self-reported behaviors rather than assessing whether more learning actually occurred in the daily quizzes group. Although I do not plan to replace exams in my course with daily quizzes (as the author did), I did find this article helpful for my research. It provided me with some guidance on collecting additional information such as student perceptions, self-reported student behaviors, global perceptions, etc. It also once again emphasized to me that faculty need to ensure that our methods of evaluation and assessment fit our goals. 
 
3)      Haberyan, K.A. (2003) Do Weekly Quizzes Improve Student Performance on General Biology Exams? The American Biology Teacher, 65(2), 110-114.
 
The author in this study sought to test his hypothesis that weekly quizzes in college-level non-major General Biology courses would improve student performance on regular hourly exams. In his study, he compared student performance in 2 sections of General Biology using only 4 exams versus 2 sections of General Biology that received weekly quizzes in addition to the 4 exams. The quizzes consisted of five to seven fill-in-the-blank questions from previous lecture material and assigned readings. All sections had the identical lecture sequence, text, course materials, etc. The author also distributed a survey to the experimental (quizzed) class about time spent studying for exams & quizzes, perception as to whether or not studying for quizzes helped on the exams, and if the students would have preferred same course without the quizzes. The results demonstrated that there were no significant difference in exam performance between the experimental (quizzed) sections and the control (non-quizzed) sections.   He suggests that this result may be due to the use of weekly quizzes in the companion lab course which form the primary component of the student’s lab grade. This might cause the student to study more for lab quizzes than lecture exam. This article is applicable to my research because the author suggests that synergism of lab and lecture sequencing needs to be addressed. In my General Biology course, there is synergy between lecture and lab. In other words, the students that are in lecture together are also in the same lab section. Perhaps because of this, my results will turn out differently. In addition, I plan on giving daily quizzes rather than weekly quizzes. He too gave surveys that have provided me with additional questions to ask my students about perception, attitude, etc. 
 
4)      Glenn, D. (2007) You Will Be Tested on This. Researchers are dusting off an old insight: To Maximize classroom learning, quiz early and often. The Chronicle of Higher Education, 53(40), A17. 
 
The article begins with a description of a study in 1939 by Herbert Spitzer in which thousands of Iowa sixth graders were to read an article about bamboo and they would subsequently be given long multiple choice quizzes at various intervals. Mr. Spitzer concluded that an effective method of retention is immediate recall in the form of a test. The article continues by saying that the purpose of quizzing is to implant facts in students’ memory rather than motivating students to pay attention or study more. It describes a few additional studies, all of which have the same take-home message: faculty need to give frequent short-answer quizzes either at the beginning or end of each class session. This forces students to repeatedly retrieve facts from memory and ultimately develop deeper fluency in the material. This brief article reinforces the purpose of my research problem. It also emphasizes to me that faculty need to connect their teaching tasks and methods of evaluation and assessment. This article also provides me with additional references for more information on the research mentioned in the article. 
 
5)      Kornell, N., & Bjork, R.A. (2007, May). On the illusionary benefits of easy learning: Studying small stacks of flashcards. Poster presented at the 19th Annual Meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, Washington, D.C. 
 
The purpose of this research was to determine if it is better to study one BIG stack of 20 word pair flashcards everyday or split them into 4 small stacks (5 word pairs per stack) and study one stack each day. When asked to estimate how well they would do on the final exam, those studying the small stacks predicted that they would remember a higher percentage of the words on the final exam in comparison to those studying the BIG stack. But, it turned out, their performance was the opposite. Those who repeatedly studied the BIG stack on average scored 26% higher than those studying the small stacks. Therefore, it was concluded that distributed study sessions result in more learning than study sessions mounted together. In other words, cramming doesn’t work. This study is important to my research problem because it demonstrates that administering daily quizzes should increase exam performance and essentially class performance because the students are studying the material at continuous intervals spread out over time instead of studying the material in immediate succession. 
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