The Impact of the Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique on Course Evaluations

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Presentation given at 2013 ISSOTL conference. This project presents an inquiry into teaching practices. We investigated the impact on course evaluations of using partial credit iterative responding [PCIR] with the Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique [IF-AT] forms on summative course assessments. Similar to scantrons, the IF-AT form has a series of boxes representing answer choices. For each question, one box (the correct answer) has a small star in it; the other boxes are empty. All boxes are covered with a coating similar to a lottery ticket. The student scratches the coating off the box they believe to be the correct answer and receives immediate feedback as to the veracity of their response (i.e., star or no star). With iterative responding, students keep scratching answer choices until they uncover the star. With PCIR, students receive diminished credit for a correct answer based on how many attempts they needed before they uncovered the star. Prior research on IF-AT forms has demonstrated that the provision of immediate feedback boosts student learning, especially long-term retention (Dihoff et al. 2004; Epstein et al. 2001). Additional research has demonstrated that students perceive IF-AT forms more favorably than scantrons, even without PCIR (DiBattista et al. 2004; DiBattista & Gosse 2006). Research has not yet explored the costs and benefits to instructors of using IF-AT forms, but it has explicitly called for such investigations (DiBattista et al. 2004). Additionally, research on course evaluations has documented a significant relationship between students’ expected course grades and evaluations (Ginexi 2003; Maurer 2006), so the use of IF-AT forms with PCIR could significantly affect course evaluations to the extent that it raises students’ grades. What is unknown is how much influence on course evaluations the use of IF-AT forms could have and how much additional influence the PCIR option could have beyond that. This project reports on the results of two studies designed to investigate those questions. Methods: Study 1 compared evaluations from students in courses where exams were manipulated. Two sections of students completed exams using scantrons; two sections used IF-AT forms with PCIR for each item scored 100%, 50%, 25%, 0% (e.g., answering correctly on the second try yielded 50% of the points for that question). Study 2 compared evaluations from students in courses where daily reading quizzes were manipulated. One section of students used IF-AT forms with iterative responding without partial credit; one section of students used IF-AT forms with PCIR for each item scored 100%, 25%, 10%, 0%. Outcomes, Reflective Critique, & Audience Engagement: Results from Study 1 revealed that multiple course evaluation scores increased 10% in the PCIR condition. Results from Study 2 revealed no difference in course evaluations between conditions. The audience will participate in a demonstration using the IF-AT forms with PCIR. Small group discussion of the methodology will be used to springboard into whole group discussion. Discussion will include next steps for a more comprehensive and systematic exploration of possible experimental conditions and manipulations to more fully assess the impact of IF-AT forms on course evaluations.


2013 ISSOTL conference


Raleigh, NC