Memorial consequences of testing school-aged children.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

A large literature shows that retrieval practice is a powerful tool for enhancing learning and memory in undergraduates (Roediger & Karpicke, 2006a). Much less work has examined the memorial consequences of testing school-aged children. Our focus is on multiple-choice tests, which are potentially problematic since they minimise retrieval practice and also expose students to errors (the multiple-choice lures). To examine this issue, second graders took a multiple-choice general knowledge test (e.g., What country did the Pilgrims come from: England, Germany, Ireland, or Spain?) and later answered a series of short answer questions, some of which corresponded to questions on the earlier multiple-choice test. Without feedback, the benefits of prior testing outweighed the costs for easy questions. However, for hard questions, the large increase in multiple-choice lure answers on the final test meant that the cost of prior testing outweighed the benefits when no feedback was provided. This negative testing effect was eliminated when children received immediate feedback (consisting of the correct answer) after each multiple-choice selection. Implications for educational practice are discussed.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Marsh, EJ; Fazio, LK; Goswick, AE

Published Date

  • January 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 20 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 899 - 906

PubMed ID

  • 22891857

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3700528

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1464-0686

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0965-8211

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/09658211.2012.708757


  • eng