This study examined the effects of exam duration on student performance

This study examined the effects of exam duration on student performance and cognitive fatigue within an undergraduate biology classroom. teaching. Regarding to backward design [1], assessments should check for accomplishment of preferred learning outcomes. Furthermore, each outcome ought to be measured by multiple what to achieve dependable feedback on learners’ understanding [2]. This introduces many questions: Just how many products are optimum to successfully assess each learning final result? Does including even more products provide us a far more accurate assessment device or could it be redundant? Do learners experience cognitive exhaustion causing their rating to experience longer examinations? As test length increases, two issues arise. First, is the task causing cognitive fatigue; quite simply, is it taxing students’ mental functions enough that it may cause a decrease in their overall performance? Second, is the task causing perceptions of fatigue, or subjective fatigue [3]? More importantly, is usually this subjective fatigue leading to a self-regulated withdrawal from the process and consequently lower overall performance? In both cases, fatiguing conditions can lead to lower student overall performance not attributable to a lack of knowledge, and consequently less than accurate assessment outcomes. A literature review [4] revealed that most research on the subject of cognitive or mental fatigue is older, predating the 1950s [5], [6]. In addition, the findings are mixed. Martyn [7] found a decline in overall performance as more items and greater time were added. Davis [8] found three different effects in students on repetitive cognitive tasks: some increased overall performance with more time on task, while some remained constant, and others decreased their overall performance. However, this research was done utilizing a group of repetitive jobs and does not directly transfer to a test of conceptual understanding. When the SAT improved in length in 2005, high school guidance counselors complained that scores would drop because Rabbit Polyclonal to Chk2 (phospho-Thr68) of fatiguing circumstances with the elevated length [9]. Actually, it is well-known belief and rather intuitive that elevated check length would result in lower performance [3], [10]. Nevertheless, Laitusis, Morgan, Bridgeman, Zanna, and Rock [11] discovered that learners acquiring the SAT under extended-time circumstances (i.e., even more time-on-task, however, not more products) experienced no difference in test functionality. Liu, Allspach, Feigenbaum, Oh, and Burton [12] reviewed analysis on the consequences of additional products being put into a ensure that you figured repetitive, low-stakes products are influenced by exhaustion; whereas, high-stakes, complicated, and varied products do not appear to be affected. Ackerman and Kanfer [3] in comparison performance of learners on the SAT test in a shortened, regular, and lengthened condition. The circumstances varied in the amount of products given and therefore in the time-on-job. Interestingly, they discovered that increased check length (i.electronic., more test products) resulted in significantly increased check scores. Many of these research were operate on context-independent, ability-structured high stakes lab tests, like the SAT. Whereas, analysis on the consequences of test duration on students’ capability to demonstrate conceptual understanding in a context-particular framework (i.electronic., biology) is normally absent. The examining effect may be the well-demonstrated proven fact that recalling details in a examining circumstance is more helpful than re-reading or re-studying the info [13]. Hence, lengthier lab tests, despite being perhaps fatiguing, may improve the testing influence on the next final exam. Nevertheless, much analysis on the examining impact has buy GSK126 been carried out in artificial laboratory environments, rather than classroom settings, and most often entails the recall of details rather than the software of ideas in novel situations requiring higher-order thinking skills [14]C[22]. This study compares overall performance on a final examination requiring the application of biological ideas to novel situations after initial unit buy GSK126 examination testing. This study also investigates whether college students experience cognitive fatigue and if exams can be shortened and still efficiently assess college students’ understanding. We predicted that, after assessing each learning end result with at least two items, additional items would simply cause improved cognitive load leading to lower overall performance and less accurate assessment of college students’ understanding. An alternative prediction, however, is that additional items actually increase student overall performance and provide a more accurate assessment of buy GSK126 college student understanding. Methods Ethics Statement Permission for human subjects use was acquired by the Brigham Small Institutional Review Table for Human Subjects and written consent was acquired from all participants. Course and Participants The subject participants were undergraduate.