Teachers don’t have to test everything they want their students to remember

From experience to meaning...

My students have their final exams this weeks and even yesterday I received another mail with the question if a specific thing we discusses would be on the test. A new study by the University of British Columbia shows that teachers don’t have to test everything they want their students to remember – as long as the knowledge they want to convey fits together well, and the test questions are well-chosen. Still, I do think it’s important that your test is a fair representation of everything that has been discussed in class. More important: this study again shows the importance of the testing effect but with extra nuances.

From the press release (bold by me):

The finding, based on an experiment with UBC pharmacy students, builds on a proven phenomenon known as “retrieval-enhanced learning” – that the very act of recalling something reinforces it in a person’s memory. But that phenomenon…

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