Algebra Seminar talk
Csaba Szabó (Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem)
Testing is the mother of all knowledge
Retrieving information from memory after an initial learning phase enhances long-term retention more than restudying the material; an advantage referred to as the (retrieval practice) testing effect. The testing effect has been demonstrated with a variety of practice tests, materials, and age groups.
Test-enhanced learning is a method which uses active recall of the information during the learning process. It has been proved to be efficient concerning learning texts or foreign words, but these experiments were principally carried out in laboratory-environment on psychologist undergraduate students. The topic of this presentation is an experiment on the efficiency of test-enhanced learning used for teaching geometry in a secondary school and Number Theory at the university.. The experiments were carried out in a real secondary school and a real university with real students on real maths lessons. For example, the subjects of our university experiments were six groups of undergraduate pre-service mathematic teachers. Three groups of the six were learning Number Theory using the testing effect and the other three groups were learning by the original way. The experimental and the control groups were statistically indistinguishable and were learning exactly the same topic also they had exactly the same teacher at the lecture. The experimental groups and the control groups learned the same concepts and wrote the same midterm and final test. We compared the results of the two types of group on the midterm- and final test and the outcome is very impressive.