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Article Title

POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN UNLIMITED ONLINE QUIZZES AND IN-CLASS EXAM PERFORMANCE IN AN UNDERGRADUATE NUTRITION COURSE

Abstract

Grayson F. Lipford, Greg Stewart. Methodist University, Fayetteville, NC.

BACKGROUND: Although tests are typically used to assess knowledge, testing itself has been shown to be a way of improving retention (Tulving, 1967). As such, multiple-choice quizzes have been shown to improve retention in classroom final exams (Bjork, Little & Storm, 2014). This increased retention reveals itself more so in the long term vs. short term (Roediger & Karpicke, 2006). METHODS: Students enrolled in undergraduate Human Nutrition classes (five cohorts) were provided eight online quizzes utilizing the Blackboard Learning Management System. Students were allowed unlimited submissions, but were required to wait two hours or more between attempts on a single quiz. Quizzes contained 10 questions selected by Blackboard software at random each time from large pools with the order of answers also randomized. Students also took four in-class exams on content presented in the quizzes and a cumulative final exam at the end of the course. Two quizzes covered material in Exam 1, three quizzes for Exam 2, one quiz for Exam 3 and two quizzes for Exam 4. At the end of the semester, students took a cumulative final exam which covered material from all quizzes. Quizzes were scored on a 20 point scale with the best grade attained, exams scored on a 50 point scale including the cumulative final. Multiple Regression was used to compare quiz grades to subsequent exam grades. Pearson correlation statistics were used to compare the number of quiz attempts to quiz grades. Repeated Measures ANOVA were used to compare differences in Quiz grades and attempts. RESULTS: The sample size consisted of 55 female and 68 male students. The mean number of attempts on each quiz ranged from 2.837 to 4.107 and the mean grades ranged from 16.667 to 18.313 (83.335% to 91.565%). Mean exam grades ranged from 33.372 to 36.533 (66.744% to 73.066%). The mean number of attempts on each quiz significantly (p < 0.001) differed and number of attempts were significantly correlated to the grades on the quizzes (r = 0.258 to 0.420, p < 0.005 or lower). The mean grade on quizzes significantly (p < 0.001) differed and higher grades on quizzes were significantly related to higher grades on subsequent exams for Exams 2-4 (p < 0.001) and the cumulative final (p = 0.006) but not on Exam 1 (p = 0.112). CONCLUSIONS: The number of attempts on online low-stakes quizzes allowing multiple attempts were positively related to quiz grades which, subsequently were positively related to exam performance. As a result, online quizzes may be an effective tool for learning in an undergraduate Human Nutrition course.

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