Master of Natural Sciences (MNS)


Biological Sciences

Document Type



There is a need to identify educational tools and methods that are easily assimilated into a secondary science education classroom. The use of testing as an educational tool, rather than as a summative assessment only, has emerged as a possible solution. Test-enhanced learning is attributed to the testing effect (Roediger & Karpicke, 2006). The testing effect refers to the higher probability of recalling an item resulting from the act of retrieving the item from memory (testing) versus additional study trials of the item (Craney et al., 2008). A comparison of frequent testing/quizzing versus no quizzing outcomes were studied to determine whether the testing effect has a positive influence on learning gains in a high school science setting. Eighty-eight juniors and seniors enrolled in chemistry (4 sections) and advance placement biology (1 section) classes during the 2012-2013 school year were studied. A within student experimental design was used. Students were pre-tested prior to content coverage. Upon completion of each topic section the students were given quizzes with feedback. The quizzes targeted 50% of the pre-test/post-test material but were not identical in wording. Learning gains for the quizzed material were equivalent to the learning gains for the non-quizzed material in 66% of the instances tested. In 44 % of the individual classes the learning gains were greater for the quizzed condition. For these pooled data, quizzing resulted in greater learning gains in all chapters. For two of the three biology chapters quizzing resulted in greater learning gains. These results indicate that using tests and quizzes as an educational tool can have a positive impact on student learning gains.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Siebenaller, Joseph