So, how can we best make use of this “practice effect” for memory?Research tells us that learning is particularly strong when students self-test.
Good assessment programs aim to provide a balanced, fair evaluation of each student. First, they use of a variety of strategies and tasks.
This gives students multiple opportunities, in varying contexts, to demonstrate what they know and can do.
In light of the recent “My Master” ghost-writing scandal, it is clear that plagiarism is a serious problem for universities.
Drawing on our characteristics of good assessment, it is impossible to provide a balanced, fair evaluation of a student’s performance if the student has paid someone else to complete their work for them.
Critics of exams often instead promote “deep”, “rich”, and “authentic” assessment tasks.
These are typically project-based tasks that draw on students’ creativity and interest.
Likewise, the process of searching through ones memory and retrieving the relevant information strengthens that memory pathway for future uses.
This means that when newly qualified teachers, doctors, lawyers, or accountants come to retrieve information they need, it is – as a consequence of having been practised previously – now easier to access.
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