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Quiz as Retreival Practice

This is an example of a learning activity carried out at KTH based on the retrieval practice concept. In the course, quizzes help students learn the information more long-term. They have an infinite number of attempts, and the quiz is not grade-based.

About Retrieval Practice

Retrieval means that students recreate information from memory completely without memory support. The exercises are most effective when the students have started to forget the information. The idea is that they retrieve and piece together the information as they remember it, not that they reproduce the information precisely. Examples of retrieval methods are answering quiz questions or freely trying to reproduce the information to a fellow student.

Studying by extracting information improves learning compared to only reading or encoding new information. Recalling information has also proven to be more effective than other strategies, such as taking notes while reading study materials or passively watching educational videos online. Practicing retrieval practice can also help students understand better what they know and don’t know.

Quiz as a Retrieval Practice

The course included a lot of self-study and the students had learn a lot of theory. To support student learning, they got to use retrieval practice through quizzes. Students would complete practice tests every two weeks, a requirement to pass the course. It was recommended to carry out the tests in connection with their release, but the deadline for submission was at the end of the course.

Grade-free quizzes with unlimited attempts

The quizzes given in the course were conducted in Canvas. The quizzes were graded Pass/Fail and students had unlimited attempts. This allows students to take the tests as often as they want, even if they don't know all the material, and they don't feel any pressure to pass them on the first try. This means that they are motivated to recreate some information even though they don't know all the information.

1-hour delay before the student can retake the quiz

Even if you could do the quiz an unlimited amount of times, they were closed for an hour after a submission – then the student has started to forget about the information and has to recall it from memory again.

Feedback on questions that the student answered incorrectly

On the incorrect answers in the quiz, there were comments that did not give the correct answer but tried to provide a guide on how to think about the task. This made it possible to connect the stored information with ques from the teacher on how to reason.

Student reflection on the learning process

At the beginning of each quiz, the students had to assess approximately how good they thought the result would be and on which parts they thought they would do well or not. This means that students reflect on what they can and cannot do before a test and then see if their perception matches the result.

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