Comprehensive Assessment Tracking System

No, you can't use your book for the quiz: Comparing quiz scores with and without class materials

Rating: 
4.88889
Average: 4.9 (9 votes)
Wednesday, September 3, 2014 to Friday, December 12, 2014
Abstract: 

I traditionally assess whether students are reading using a 10-question multiple choice quiz per chapter.  Students asked if they could use their notes and/or books.  I allowed students in my MWF PSY230 course to use their notes/books for the quizzes while those in the T TH  section were not allowed to do so.  I kept track of how long it took students to complete the quizzes and their average quiz scores over a ten week period.  Students who used their materials averaged 25 minutes to complete the quizzes while those that were not allowed to use their materials averaged only 12 minutes to complete the quizzes.  Moreover, students that were not allowed to reference their notes/books scored significantly higher on quizzes (M=80.77%, SD=13.51) compared to those that were allowed to use such materials (M=68.48%, SD=15.23), t(63)=2.34, p<.05.  Focus groups conducted at the end of the semester revealed that students who had access to notes/books became extremely reliant on the materials to look for the answers which took more time than they expected and strongly urged me to not let future classes user their books/notes on quizzes. I agree.

Completed Full Cycle: 
Yes
Course Number: 
PSY230
Assessment of the Month: 
March, 2015

Comments

ALI2164434's picture
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Norma~

Very interesting!  Thank you so much for conducting this research!  I am always asking myself which is the better assessment, a quiz with or without notes.  I will take this input and run with it.  Excellent!

Alison England,

PSY 101, 240 adjunct

PETAA00009's picture
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Norma - excellent application of the action research cycle! I think your research will cause many, including myself, to reflect on their reading review techniques. And, by agreeing with your students, I assume this means you will now stick with the "no-access to book/notes" quiz technique. This is an excellent CATS!

REBZS76641's picture
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As a former student....I did the same thing.  I didn't study as much for open notes/book exams.  

BROAA00004's picture
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THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, we have found the same in science but did not measure the time factor. I really appreciate that you nailed this down with data.

HEA2156907's picture
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I always find it interesting when people automatically assume that open book tests are easier.  Not true!  Students don't read ahead when they know the quiz will be open book.  They are much better prepared when they know they won't have access to the materials.  Thank you for documenting this.  

RACYC00002's picture
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This is great!!!  Well deserved CATS of the Month

perrigo's picture
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This is wonderful information!!!  

TER2062747's picture
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Thank you for this wonderful and informative data.  It is nice to have data to support our instinctual decisions :-)

kapoor's picture
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Wow I cant belive the results great job Norma!!

linbz08391's picture
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Thank you for the statistics on taking quizzes with or without the notes.  Many years ago, I had an instructor that did that but found out I did better without the notes brought to class. I wonder if there are statistics out there on students test scores by taking a group test in the semester without notes versus students taking the test alone with their notes or books.

OLGYZ58951's picture
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Norma, This is an excellent assessment on what we should do in the classroom. When I used to give exams, I allowed index cards with notes. Now I realize that was not the best idea for learning. :) Thanks for sharing!
Smiles, Olga

kmcdonald's picture
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Thank you for presenting the data - I always tell my NUR students, "NCLEX does not let you take notecards." I have at times let them write down a formula for a quiz, but it does not improve their scores. Well done - Kanina

RACNC89671's picture
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This is such a practical assessment that relates to many of us across departments.  Thank you for taking the time to share this because I really would have thought students would do better with resources had I not read your CATS.

CHE2037828's picture
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Wow!  This is very interesting to see what the results were using the two different methods of testing.  I have one class that I am thinking about changing around how I do testing in the class.  What you said was right on because the take home exam is not as easy as some students tend to believe and they do seem to do better with taking tests in class without their notes and books.  Thanks for sharing. 

ste2255369's picture
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This CAT is excellent.  I am going to try this in my classes.