Who Wants to Be a Psychology Graduate? Impact of Formative Multiple-choice Review Questions on Summative Assessment Performance


Evidence suggests that formative assessments can have a positive impact on eventual summative performance, and formative multiple-choice assessments are an effective method for increasing student engagement with course content. The aim of the current research was to explore the value of formative multiple-choice questions in terms of academic performance. The authors predicted that regular use of multiple-choice tests to summarise lecture content would have a positive impact on exam performance. They compared final grades across two student cohorts: students in 2007/08 attended standard lectures, and students in 2008/09 participated in multiple-choice tests at the end of each lecture. Analysis revealed that grades for the exam were significantly higher for students exposed to the formative assessments throughout the module. Furthermore, analysis of a comparable control module indicated that this improvement in performance was not a result of different ability levels for the two year groups. The authors concluded that regular formative assessments could be incorporated into a module without rewriting the lecture content or increasing the marking workload, and the inclusion of these formative multiple-choice questions at the end of every lecture has a positive impact on final exam grades. Formative and summative assessments are designed to distinguish between evaluation intending t

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