Proposal Title

Self-generated questions as a study tool: use and impact of CanYouRecall.com in an introductory Biochemistry class

Session Type

Poster

Room

Atrium

Start Date

July 2015

Keywords

self-generated questions, self-testing, study strategies, online study aids, testing effect, spacing effect

Primary Threads

Education Technologies and Innovative Resources

Abstract

The “testing effect” refers to the observation that retrieving information as part of being tested improves retention of information. This phenomenon suggests that a potentially effective study strategy would be for students to generate and respond to their own questions about the material they wish to learn. To this end, two of us (JMM and RAG) created the website CanYouRecall.com, which allows users to enter questions and answers in an open-ended format, and prompts users to answer their own questions after a user-defined interval of time. Allowing users to define how much time has passed between prompts enables them to make use of the “spacing effect”, the observation that memory recall is improved if study is spaced out over a longer rather than a shorter period of time. We conducted a study in a second-year introductory Biochemistry class to assess how students would use CanYouRecall.com , and whether use of the site would improve performance in the course. We hope to repeat the study in Fall 2015 to acquire more participants. This interim presentation will report performance data from the course, comparing students who used the website with those who did not. Marks in first-year Biology courses will be used as a baseline. We will also present an analysis of student participation on the site, the nature of questions that students created using the website, and results of a survey of student opinion about the site.

Elements of Engagement

Conferees viewing the poster will be able to use the CanYouRecall.com website themselves using a laptop made available at the poster.

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Jul 8th, 5:15 PM

Self-generated questions as a study tool: use and impact of CanYouRecall.com in an introductory Biochemistry class

Atrium

The “testing effect” refers to the observation that retrieving information as part of being tested improves retention of information. This phenomenon suggests that a potentially effective study strategy would be for students to generate and respond to their own questions about the material they wish to learn. To this end, two of us (JMM and RAG) created the website CanYouRecall.com, which allows users to enter questions and answers in an open-ended format, and prompts users to answer their own questions after a user-defined interval of time. Allowing users to define how much time has passed between prompts enables them to make use of the “spacing effect”, the observation that memory recall is improved if study is spaced out over a longer rather than a shorter period of time. We conducted a study in a second-year introductory Biochemistry class to assess how students would use CanYouRecall.com , and whether use of the site would improve performance in the course. We hope to repeat the study in Fall 2015 to acquire more participants. This interim presentation will report performance data from the course, comparing students who used the website with those who did not. Marks in first-year Biology courses will be used as a baseline. We will also present an analysis of student participation on the site, the nature of questions that students created using the website, and results of a survey of student opinion about the site.