The effects of prequestions on classroom learning
Is Version Of
Previous laboratory studies have shown that the use of prequestions (questions deployed prior to a learning episode) improves students’ learning. The current study addressed whether these same effects would occur when using prequestions in a classroom setting. In a classroom study the effects of prequestions on immediate and on delayed retention were assessed where some students received questions before lecture (Prequestion Group) and other students did not (Control Group). To determine the immediate effects of prequestions all students were given an end of class quiz in which students in the Prequestion Group had to answer the prequestions as well as a never-before-seen question on material they covered in that day's lecture. Students in the Control Group had to answer two never-before-seen questions on material they covered in that day's lecture. Results from this experiment showed that within the Prequestion Group students did better on prequestioned material than on non-prequestioned material, replicating previous findings on the effects of prequestions. Additionally there was no difference in the learning of non-prequestioned material between the Prequestion Group and Control Group. On a delayed retention test students (both in the Prequestion and Control Group) did better on questions they saw before (on the end-of-class quiz) compared to questions they did not see before. This finding replicates findings from the testing effect literature. Students in the Prequestion Group, who saw one question both at the beginning and end of class, did not perform significantly better on this question on the delayed test compared to the question they only saw at the end of class. Overall these findings suggest that prequestions can improve learning of the prequestioned material without hurting the learning of non-prequestioned material. The findings also suggest that retrieval practice improves the retention of material that was tested at the end of class compared to no test at all, but seeing a question before class added little benefit to this effect.