Testing (Quizzing) Boosts Classroom Learning: A Systematic and Meta-Analytic Review

Chunliang Yang, Liang Luo, Miguel A. Vadillo, Rongjun Yu*, David R. Shanks

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    107 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Over the last century hundreds of studies have demonstrated that testing is an effective intervention to enhance long-term retention of studied knowledge and facilitate mastery of new information, compared with restudying and many other learning strategies (e.g., concept mapping), a phenomenon termed the testing effect. How robust is this effect in applied settings beyond the laboratory? The current review integrated 48,478 students’ data, extracted from 222 independent studies, to investigate the magnitude, boundary conditions, and psychological underpinnings of test-enhanced learning in the classroom. The results show that overall testing (quizzing) raises student academic achievement to a medium extent (g = 0.499). The magnitude of the effect is modulated by a variety of factors, including learning strategy in the control condition, test format consistency, material matching, provision of corrective feedback, number of test repetitions, test administration location and timepoint, treatment duration, and experimental design. The documented findings support 3 theories to account for the classroom testing effect: additional exposure, transfer-appropriate processing, and motivation. In addition to their implications for theory development, these results have practical significance for enhancing teaching practice and guiding education policy and highlight important directions for future research.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)399-435
    Number of pages37
    JournalPsychological Bulletin
    Volume147
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Psychology(all)

    User-Defined Keywords

    • Academic achievement
    • Meta-analysis
    • Motivation
    • Testing effect
    • Transfer-appropriate processing

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'Testing (Quizzing) Boosts Classroom Learning: A Systematic and Meta-Analytic Review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this