Achievement of American students falls behind that of students in many other industrialized countries, especially in science and mathematics. Test-enhanced learning has been shown to be highly effective method for improving students’ retention of knowledge in many different subject matters. When students are given a quiz that requires active retrieval of information, they remember that information better on a later test relative to information not previously tested (or even relative to information that is restudied but not initially tested).

The current Test-Enhanced Learning in the Classroom (TELC) project builds on earlier work, exploring the following principles: (1) Testing enhances learning (better than repeated studying), and students should be tested frequently; (2) Production tests (short answer or essay tests) produce better retention at delays than do recognition tests (multiple choice, true/false); (3) Multiple tests are better than single tests in enhancing learning; and (4) Immediate feedback improves the effect of testing, especially for facts missed on the tests.

The purpose of our current work is to develop a manual for teachers to use in adapting the TEL approach for their middle and high school classrooms. We are conducting research at Columbia Middle School and Columbia High School in Illinois. The idea is to enable teachers to integrate an effective, tractable, and customized quizzing program into their existing curriculum so as to enhance student learning through active retrieval.


If you have any questions, please contact us for more information.


Principal Investigators: Henry L. Roediger, Mark A. McDaniel, & Kathleen B. McDermott

Post-Doctoral Research Associate: Pooja K. Agarwal

Research & Classroom Coordinator: Laura M. D'Antonio

Research Assistants: Allison Obenhaus & Meghan McDoniel

Former Research Team Members: Jessye Brick, Lindsay Brockmeier, Lisa Cressey, Marco Chacon, Anna Dinndorf, Kristy Duprey, Barbie Huelser, Jane McConnell, and Aaron Theby


  • Agarwal, P. K., Bain, P. M., & Chamberlain, R. W. (2012). The value of applied research: Retrieval practice improves learning and recommendations from a teacher, a principal, and a scientist. Educational Psychology Review, 24, 437-448. [PDF]

  • McDaniel, M. A., Agarwal, P. K., Huelser, B. J., McDermott, K. B., & Roediger, H. L. (2011). Test-enhanced learning in a middle school science classroom: The effects of quiz frequency and placement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 103, 399-414. [PDF]

  • Pashler, H., Bain, P., Bottge, B., Graesser, A., Koedinger, K., McDaniel, M. A., & Metcalfe, J. (2007). Organizing instruction to improve student learning (NCER 2007-2004). Washington D.C.: National Center for Education Research, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. [PDF]

  • Roediger, H. L., Agarwal, P. K., McDaniel, M. A., & McDermott, K. B. (2011). Test-enhanced learning in the classroom: Long-term improvements from quizzing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 17, 382-395. [PDF]

  • Roediger, H .L., McDermott, K. B., & McDaniel, M. A. (2011). Using testing to improve learning and memory. In M. A. Gernsbacher, R. Pew, L. Hough, & J. R. Pomerantz (Eds.), Psychology and the real world: Essays illustrating fundamental contributions to society (pp. 65-74). New York: Worth Publishing Co. [PDF]

  • Roediger, H. L., Putnam, A. L., & Smith, M. A. (2011). Ten benefits of testing and their applications to educational practice. In J. Mestre & B. Ross (Eds.), Psychology of learning and motivation: Cognition in education (pp. 1-36). Oxford: Elsevier. [PDF]

 

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  • Agarwal, P. K., Roediger, H. L., McDaniel, M. A., & McDermott, K. B. (2010, June). Improving student learning with classroom quizzes: Three years of evidence from Columbia Middle School. Poster presented at the 5th Annual Institute of Education Sciences Research Conference, National Harbor, MD. [PDF]
  • Agarwal, P. K., Roediger, H. L., McDaniel, M. A., & McDermott, K. B. (2010, March). Improving student learning through the use of classroom quizzes: Three years of evidence from the Columbia Middle School project. Poster presented at the 2010 Annual Conference of the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness, Washington, DC. [PDF]
  • Agarwal, P. K., Roediger, H. L., McDaniel, M. A., & McDermott, K. B. (2009, November). Feedback increases middle school students’ resolution and retention of correct responses. Poster presented at the 50th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Boston, MA. [PDF]
  • Roediger, H. L., McDaniel, M. A., McDermott, K. B., Agarwal, P. K., & Huelser, B. J. (2009, June). What is an effective quizzing schedule for middle school students? Poster presented at the 4th Annual Institute of Education Sciences Research Conference, Washington, D.C. [PDF]
  • Agarwal, P. K., Huelser, B. J., McDaniel, M. A., McDermott, K. B., & Roediger, H. L. (2009, May). Test-enhanced learning: Transfer of knowledge in middle school classrooms. Poster presented at the 21st Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science, San Francisco, CA. [PDF]
  • Sun, J. & McDaniel, M. A. (2008, November). The testing effect: Experimental evidence from a college course. Poster presented at the Midstates Consortium for Math and Sciences, Chicago, IL. [PDF]
  • Anderson, J. L., Weywadt, C., & McDaniel, M. A. (2008, October). Repeated quizzing facilitates learning of core content in an undergraduate neuroscience course. Poster presented at the Harvard Medical School Education Day, Boston, MA. [PDF]
  • McDaniel, M. A., McDermott, K. B., Agarwal, P. K., & Roediger, H. L. (2008, June). Test-enhanced learning in the classroom: The Columbia Middle School project, Year 2. Poster presented at the 3rd Annual Institute of Education Sciences Research Conference, Washington, D.C. [PDF]
  • Agarwal, P. K., Roediger, H. L., McDaniel, M. A., & McDermott, K. B. (2008, May). Improving student learning with classroom quizzes. Poster presented at the 20th Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science, Chicago, IL. [PDF]
  • Butler, A. B., Huelser, B. J., Caruso, C. A., & Roediger, H. L. (2008, May). Examining Park’s (2005) computer modified multiple-choice testing procedure. Poster presented at the 20th Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science, Chicago, IL. [PDF]
  • Roediger, H. L., McDaniel, M. A., McDermott, K. B., & Agarwal, P. K. (2007, November). Test-enhanced learning in the classroom: The Columbia Middle School project. Poster presented at the 48th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Long Beach, CA. [PDF]
  • Roediger, H. L., McDaniel, M. A., McDermott, K. B., & Agarwal, P. K. (2007, June). Test-enhanced learning in the classroom. Poster presented at the 2nd Annual Institute of Education Sciences Research Conference, Washington, D.C. [PDF]

 

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  • Agarwal, P. K. (2012, August). Retrieval practice is a powerful strategy for improving classroom learning. Invited talk delivered at the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Texas, Austin, Texas.

  • Agarwal, P. K. (2012, August). Research-based cognitive strategies enhance college readiness. Invited talk delivered at the OnRamps Faculty Meeting at the University of Texas, Austin, Texas.

  • Agarwal, P. K. (2012, June). Research-based cognitive strategies for enhancing college readiness. Invited talk delivered at the CRAFT Summer Institute at the University of Texas, Austin, Texas.

  • Agarwal, P. K. (2011, June). Examining the relationship between fact learning and higher order learning via retrieval practice. Invited talk delivered at the Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal, Lisbon.

  • Agarwal, P. K., McDaniel, M. A., Thomas, R. C., McDermott, K. B., & Roediger, H. L. (2011, March). Quizzing promotes deeper acquisition in middle school science: Transfer of quizzed content to summative exams. Talk delivered at the 2011 Annual Conference of the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness, Washington, DC.

  • McDaniel, M. A., & Agarwal, P. K. (2010, September). How to use retrieval practice to improve your students’ learning. Invited talk delivered at a Columbia Middle School Faculty Meeting, Columbia, IL.

  • Roediger, H. L. (2009, November). The critical role of retrieval in enhancing long-term memory: From the laboratory to the classroom. Keynote address delivered at the 50th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Boston, MA.
  • Roediger, H. L., McDaniel, M. A., McDermott, K. B., Agarwal, P. K., & Huelser, B. J. (2009, May). Applying retrieval-enhanced learning in the classroom: The Columbia Middle School Project. Invited talk delivered at the 21st Annual Meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, San Francisco, CA.
  • Hodge, G. K. (2009, March). Pedagogical best practices: The power of quizzing. Invited panelist at the 3rd Annual Redesign Alliance Conference, National Center for Academic Transformation, Orlando, FL.
  • McDaniel, M. A. (2009, March). The power of quizzing. Invited talk delivered at the 3rd Annual Conference of the Redesign Alliance, Orlando, FL.
  • Roediger, H. L. (2009, March). The power of testing memory: From the laboratory to the classroom. Talk delivered at the University of Lisbon, Portugal.
  • Hodge, G. K. (2009, February). Teaching through community engagement and student learning in large lecture classes: Relative importance of taking quizzes, reading text, and participating in lectures. Invited talk delivered at the 4th Annual University of New Mexico Community Conference for Faculty by Faculty, Albuquerque, NM.
  • Roediger, H. L. (2009, January). Does expanding retrieval represent a desirable difficulty? Talk delivered at the Conference to Honor Robert Bjork, Los Angeles, CA.
  • Roediger, H. L. (2009, January). The critical role of retrieval in enhancing long-term retention. Talk delivered at Anesthesiology Grand Rounds, Washington University Medical School, St. Louis, MO.
  • Roediger, H. L., McDaniel, M. A., McDermott, K. B., & Agarwal, P .K. (2008, December). Third year progress: The Columbia Middle School project. Presentation to Columbia Middle School administration and teachers, Columbia, IL.
  • Roediger, H. L. (2008, October). Critical role of retrieval in enhancing memory: From the lab to the classroom. Invited talk delivered at Rice University, Houston, TX.
  • McDaniel, M. A. (2008, August). Testing to improve learning in post-secondary education. Invited talk delivered at the 116th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Boston, MA.
  • Roediger, H. L. (2008, May). The critical role of learning during retrieval: From the lab to the classroom. American Psychological Association Invited Address at the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.
  • Roediger, H. L., McDaniel, M. A., McDermott, K. B., & Agarwal, P. K. (2008, May). Recent progress: The Columbia Middle School project. Presentation to Columbia Middle School administration and teachers, Columbia, IL.
  • Roediger, H. L., (2008, April). The critical importance of retrieval for long-term retention. Talk delivered at the Society of Experimental Psychologists, Bloomington, IN.
  • Roediger, H. L., (2008, April). The critical importance of retrieval for long-term retention. Talk delivered at the James F. McDonnell Collaborative Activity Grant Annual Meeting, St. Louis, MO.
  • Hodge, G. K. (2008, March). Extreme quizzing: Increasing student success and retention. Invited talk delivered at the 2nd Annual Redesign Alliance Conference, National Center for Academic Transformation, Orlando, FL.
  • McDaniel, M. A. (2008, March). Improving student training: Importing basic memory principles into the classroom. Talk delivered at the 2nd Annual Center for Research on Training Research lecture at the University of Colorado, Boulder, CO.
  • McDaniel, M. A. (2008, February). Applying cognition to education: Lessons from basic memory principles. Invited talk delivered at Utah State University, Logan, UT.
  • Roediger, H. L. (2008, February). The critical role of retrieval in learning. Talk delivered at the Behavior, Brain, & Cognition Colloquium, Washington University, St. Louis, MO.
  • Agarwal, P. K. (2007, November). The secret benefit of classroom testing. Invited talk delivered at the University of Missouri, Columbia, MO.
  • Hodge, G. K. (2007, November). Increasing student success and retention: Required and repeatable low-stakes quizzes. Invited talk delivered at the Learning by Design Conference, State Council of Higher Education of Virginia, Richmond, VA.
  • Hodge, G. K. (2007, November). Increasing student success and retention: Required and repeatable low-stakes quizzes. Invited talk delivered at Boise State University, Boise, ID.
  • Roediger, H. L., McDaniel, M. A., McDermott, K. B., & Agarwal, P. K. (2007, November). Testing-enhanced learning in the classroom: The Columbia Middle School project. Presentation to Columbia Middle School administration and teachers, Columbia, IL.
  • Butler, A. C., Karpicke, J. D., & Roediger, H. L. (2007, July). The effect of type and timing of feedback on learning from multiple-choice tests. Talk delivered at the 7th Biennial Meeting of the Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, Lewiston, ME.
  • Roediger, H. L., McDaniel, M. A., McDermott, K. B., & Agarwal, P. K. (2007, May). Test-enhanced learning in the classroom. Presentation to Columbia Middle School administration and teachers, Columbia, IL.

 

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The research reported here has been supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R305H060080-06 and Grant R305A110550 to Washington University in St. Louis. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the Institute or the U.S. Department of Education.

 


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