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The impact of formative testing on study behaviour and study performance of (bio)medical students: a smartphone application intervention study.

Lameris, AL and Hoenderop, JG and Bindels, RJ and Eijsvogels, TM (2015) The impact of formative testing on study behaviour and study performance of (bio)medical students: a smartphone application intervention study. BMC Medical Education, 15. ISSN 1472-6920

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Formative testing can increase knowledge retention but students often underuse available opportunities. Applying modern technology to make the formative tests more attractive for students could enhance the implementation of formative testing as a learning tool. This study aimed to determine whether formative testing using an internet-based application ("app") can positively affect study behaviour as well as study performance of (bio)medical students. METHODS: A formative testing app "Physiomics, to the next level" was introduced during a 4-week course to a large cohort (n = 461) of Dutch first year (bio)medical students of the Radboud University. The app invited students to complete 7 formative tests throughout the course. Each module was available for 3-4 days to stimulate the students to distribute their study activities throughout the 4-week course. RESULTS: 72% of the students used the app during the course. Study time significantly increased in intensive users (p < 0.001), while no changes were observed in moderate (p = 0.07) and non-users (p = 0.25). App-users obtained significantly higher grades during the final exam of the course (p < 0.05). Non-users more frequently failed their final exam (34%, OR 3.6, 95% CI: 2.0-6.4) compared to moderate users (19%) and intensive users (12%). Students with an average grade <6.5 during previous courses benefitted most from the app, as intensive (5.8 ± 0.9 / 36%) and moderate users (5.8 ± 0.9 / 33%) obtained higher grades and failed their exam less frequently compared to non-users (5.2 ± 1.1 / 61%). The app was also well appreciated by students; students scored the app with a grade of 7.3 ± 1.0 out of 10 and 59% of the students indicated that they would like the app to be implemented in future courses. CONCLUSIONS: A smartphone-based application of formative testing is an effective and attractive intervention to stimulate study behaviour and improve study performance in (bio) medical students.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1302 Curriculum And Pedagogy, 1117 Public Health And Health Services
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: BioMed Central
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2016 14:20
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2016 14:20
DOI or Identification number: 10.1186/s12909-015-0351-0
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/2823

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