Paper No. 264-6
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM
THE EFFECT OF ALTERING COURSE REQUIREMENTS TOWARDS FOSTERING EFFECTIVE ONLINE PRACTICE TESTING BEHAVIORS IN AN INTRODUCTORY PHYSICAL GEOLOGY COURSE: TO GRADE OR NOT TO GRADE?
The strategy a student selects to learn required content (i.e., rereading the textbook, highlighting text, etc.) directly influences the success of the learning process. Research reveals that two learning strategies in particular, practice testing and distributed practice, have the highest utility for criterion learning. Unfortunately, students largely rely on the ineffective study strategies and tend to underutilize higher quality strategies. Additionally, even if students do choose to utilize a high-quality strategy, they may enact it erroneously. In attempts to elicit effective strategy use in introductory physical geology students, we experimentally altered the course requirements related to online practice tests in an author-designed online quizzing website called CLASS (classforlearning.com). During a pilot semester using CLASS, we provided students with optional practice quizzes tied to course content. Upon investigating usage patterns, we determined that students were taking large volumes of quiz attempts, but doing so very close to the exam. In light of this result, we altered the course requirements for the quizzes in efforts to both force distributed practice and to help foster more authentic practice testing behaviors via the grading of quiz attempts. Results and suggestions for instructor practice will be discussed.