Do Weekly Quizzes Improve Student Performance?

By Kamuche, Felix U. | Academic Exchange Quarterly, Fall 2005 | Go to article overview

Do Weekly Quizzes Improve Student Performance?


Kamuche, Felix U., Academic Exchange Quarterly


Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine whether quizzes in the basic statistics class influence final grades. Furthermore, it explored whether students with weekly quizzes performed better on assessment instruments. Students' quiz records were compared to their test scores, and the results indicated that the group with weekly quizzes performed better on tests than the control group without quizzes. Student test performance is better when the weekly quiz average is high; and students with better test performance demonstrate better knowledge of the course material.

Introduction

In recent times, the topic of how to improve student learning has been of considerable interest in the administrative and academic community. There is also considerable discussion about the importance of assignments, homework, quizzes, and tests as it relates to student learning (Smith, Zsidisin and Adams, 2005). This concern for assignments, quizzes, tests, and how to ensure students are maximizing their learning, is the foundation for this study. For many parents, educators, and instructors, frequent quizzes are an apparently infallible prescription for improving student performance (Finn and Achilles, 2003). Performance in this study means understanding the subject matter better.

The first question the investigator asked was: If we administer weekly quizzes, will students perform better on tests and learn more? The second question asked was, do we not get an accurate assessment of student performance from tests and similar assessment tools routinely used in classes, such as homework assignments? While it is tempting to answer yes to the second question, there seems to be little evidence to support such an answer (Ledman and Kamuche, 2002). We seem to be having problem with this issue of assessing student learning. For example in basic statistics classes, for whatever reason, students seemed to be having difficulty. Some students have the wrong impression of basic statistics. Some see it as a demanding and very difficult subject. As a result, the students seem not to do well in the basic statistics class. All the topics covered in basic statistics are consistent and cumulative in nature. Each chapters basic concept is build into the next chapter, and all topics in basic statistics are unique and very relevant. Each concept or chapter must be clearly understood before going on to the next concept.

My approach is, after each concept is discussed and explained, a quiz is given to access and identify students who are having problem with the course earlier on. This assessment is done on a weekly basis. The quiz is also reviewed every week. This way students who are having problems earlier on, understanding the subject matter can identify and articulate their problem from the weekly review. To investigate this problem, the following theoretical framework was used.

Theoretical Framework for this Study

Interest in how to improve student learning is not new. It is a universal concern among parents, educators, instructors, and administrators of educational institutions. Improvement of student learning is a prime interest and effort. It is generally assumed that quizzes and tests are a prerequisite for a successful completion of course works. In practice, college and university instructors list rules and guidelines related to quizzes and tests expectations for students. The author considers quizzes and tests to be student's responsibility and the student is expected to take all quizzes, tests, and complete all assignments. Faculty are expected to keep student quiz and tests records.

In an era characterized by accelerating technological change, increasing economic uncertainties, low student achievement, and growing demand for accountability, educational institutions are challenged to prepare students to function successfully in their chosen careers in the world (Chowdhury, Al-Share, and Miller, 2005; Geimer, et al 2000). …

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