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Mastery quizzing: assessing a novel testing technique in the classroom and the laboratory




Bates, Lauren Elizabeth, author
DeLosh, Edward, advisor
Rhodes, Matthew, committee member
Graham, Daniel, committee member
Folkestad, James, committee member

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Research promotes the use of frequent quizzing, as well as the use of feedback to promote long-lasting learning. In this dissertation, I propose a method for promoting long-lasting learning using mastery quizzing. Participants read an expository text and then answered questions about that text. Some participants were required to take quizzes until they achieve a perfect score, which I refer to as mastery quizzing, whereas other participants were forced to take quizzes a certain number of times. I explored how mastery quizzing can contribute to students' classroom learning and whether this method is more effective than traditional quizzing. In Experiment 1 I first looked at whether the benefits of mastery quizzing may emerge due to the benefits associated with frequent testing and feedback. Next, In Experiment 2 I explored the role that feedback may play in the mastery model, exploring students' use of feedback and how that may impact final test scores. Experiment 3 explored whether attending to and processing feedback led to increased performance on a final test. My results supported an overall benefit of mastery quizzing relative to standard quizzing techniques, even when controlling for number of quiz attempts, the presence of feedback, and conditions meant to simulate a need to use the feedback to improve performance. These results imply that the mastery technique may be a more effective method to improve student learning than standard quizzing techniques.


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