Tag Archives: learning

The role of feedback during academic testing: the delay retention effect revisited

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Submitted by Chelsea Hughes

Article Reference

Dihoff, R. E., Brosvic, G. M., & Epstein, M. L. (2012). The role of feedback during academic testing: The delay retention effect revisited. The Psychological Record, 53(4), 533-548.

Article DOI

Summary of Article


Participants: 33 male, 62 female undergrad psychology students
Procedure: 5 multiple-choice quizzes throughout the semester. Final exam consisted of 50 items – 10 items randomly selected from each quiz.
Conditions (quiz format): No feedback (traditional answer sheet); No feedback (answer sheet, Scantron); end-of-test feedback; delayed feedback (24 hours); immediate feedback (IF AT).


# of items recalled from quizzes: IF AT > End-of-test & Delayed > Traditional & Scantron
% of correctly identified initial errors: IF AT > Delayed > End-of-test
% of correctly identified initial responses: IF AT > Delayed > End-of-test
Mean confidence rating after test: IF AT > End-of-test > Delayed
% selecting same incorrect response: Traditional & Scantron > End-of-test > Delayed > IF AT


“Immediate feedback promotes recall, the most accurate identification of initial responses, increased confidence in answers, and reduces perseverative incorrect responding.”

Discussion Questions

  1. What are your experiences with the conditions, or learning methods, presented in this article? What did you find useful, and what did you find not useful?
  2. This study only utilizes quizzes as a method of testing knowledge throughout the semester. What other methods could you use, while still incorporating immediate feedback?
  3. An interesting aspect of this article is the focus on not only retention, but perseverative incorrect responding and remembering which answer you put first. Both of these address the important issue of “Why did I get this wrong in the first place?” Precluding addressing it on a one-by-one basis, how can you incorporate this important aspect of learning in the classroom?