Heard about this report on several blogs, Gas station without pumps and a Quantum Blog in particular
Here is a cut from Quantum Blog:
The article, To Really Learn, Quit Studying and Take a Test Already, reports on new research findings reported in Science that students who take a test asking them to actively recall information retain more than those who simply “study” or make concept maps. But what is awesome about this study is they didn’t just measure how the students performed using the various study strategies, it also measured how the students thought they performed.
Here is the money quote from the NYT:
These other methods [rereading notes and concept mapping] not only are popular, the researchers reported; they also seem to give students the illusion that they know material better than they do.
In the experiments, the students were asked to predict how much they would remember a week after using one of the methods to learn the material. Those who took the test after reading the passage predicted they would remember less than the other students predicted — but the results were just the opposite.
I have worked for the last few years to learn to sit quietly in staff development days when they present each new "best practice". Now I can set quietly and SMILE... Ain't research grand.
The actual article is here in Science, but they charge mega-bucks to download... go to the library instead.
SO... my newest new years resolution.... give a test in every class every week..