Using verification feedback to correct errors made on a multiple-choice test.
A key educational challenge is how to correct students' errors and misconceptions so that they do not persist. Simply labelling an answer as correct or incorrect on a short-answer test (verification feedback) does not improve performance on later tests; error correction requires receiving answer feedback. We explored the generality of this conclusion and whether the effectiveness of verification feedback depends on the type of test with which it is paired. We argue that, unlike for short-answer tests, learning whether one's multiple-choice selection is correct or incorrect should help participants narrow down the possible answers and identify specific lures as false. To test this proposition we asked participants to answer a series of general knowledge multiple-choice questions. They received no feedback, answer feedback, or verification feedback, and then took a short-answer test immediately and two days later. Verification feedback was just as effective as answer feedback for maintaining correct answers. Importantly, verification feedback allowed learners to correct more of their errors than did no feedback, although it was not as effective as answer feedback. Overall, verification feedback conveyed information to the learner, which has both practical and theoretical implications.
Marsh, EJ; Lozito, JP; Umanath, S; Bjork, EL; Bjork, RA
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