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McDaniel, Thomas, Agarwal, McDermott, and
Roediger (2013) examined the effect that quizzing during the learning process had
on the ability of students to excel on examinations. In their first experiment,
the original sample of 142 students was altered to exclude those who tested as
gifted and those students who received special education services making a
final sample of 61 students. The independent variable in this experiment was
the quizzes. The researcher was able to control and change the number of quizzes
and the method in which the quizzes were delivered. This means that the
dependent variable in experiment 1 were the final test scores of the students.
In order to carry out this experiment, the researchers gave students a
pre-lesson, post-lesson, and review quiz. The multiple-choice quizzes were each
given by way of an electronic clicker system. After each quiz question,
students were given the correct answer to the question. The exams, which
included both quizzed and non-quizzed material) were given to students by the
teacher in a paper/pencil format. The researcher saw a significant difference
between percentages of correct questions that had been quizzed in relation to
the percentage of correct questions that had not been quizzed. When students
were quizzed on material, they were significantly more likely to answer the
question correctly on the exam.

I do not agree with the researchers’
method of testing these students. Because the quizzes were administered through
an electronic clicker system, the students would have been used to that method
of testing. When they received the test, it was paper and pencil, which could
be an extraneous variable in this experiment because students were not used to
being tested on the material in that way. Another criticism that I have for
this experiment is that the final exam was worth a significant amount of the
students’ final grade. Because of this, the researchers most likely would have
had a greater number of students study outside of class to prepare for the exam
and also a greater number of students who were better focused and had more care
given to the exam than to the quizzes. Overall, I agree with the final result
that quizzing makes students more likely to excel on exams, as quizzing is an
important part of the learning process, but I do believe that the experiment
could have been carried out in a way that would avoid those extraneous
variables.

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