Learning is enhanced when learners produce answers compared to having them recognize answers. Free recall or essay tests which require the test taker to generate answers with minimal cues produce better learning than multiple choice tests in which the learner only needs to be able to recognize correct answers. In fact, free recall tests produce as much learning as restudying the material.
- When possible, teachers should give recall tests and provide other opportunities for learners to recall information with minimal cues. (We do not know the conditions under which learners will gain comparable benefits from well written multiple choice or other recognition tests.)
- Butler, A. C., & Roediger H.L., III. (in press). Testing improves long-term retention in a simulated classroom setting. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology.
- McDaniel, M.A., Anderson, J. L., Derbish, M. H., & Morrisette, N. (in press). Testing the testing effect in the classroom. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology.
- Tulving, E. (1967). The effects of presentation and recall of material in free-recall learning. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 6, 175-184.