Dissertation Abstract

A Case Study Comparing the Effects of Student-Directed Testing (S-Dt) and Teacher-Directed Testing (T-Dt) on Test Anxiety, Academic Achievement, and Course Satisfaction

Publication Number:  AAT9926494
Author:  Pack, Don Armond
School:  University of Louisville
Date:  1999
Pages:  193
Subject:  Adult Education, Continuing Education, School Administration, Higher Education, Educational Evaluation, Educational Psychology

Student-Directed Testing (S-DT) is defined as a progressive form of testing which allows students to control their own test construction, design, format, testing frequency, administration, self-grading, and self or group feedback. Teacher-Directed Testing (T-DT) is the traditional form of testing in which the teacher controls all testing procedure.

Using a counter-balanced research design, a convenient sample of 23 college students was studied to determine if S-DT would (a) reduce test anxiety, (b) increase academic achievement while maintaining retention levels over time, and (c) increase student satisfaction compared to T-DT.

The results of this case study indicated that S-DT does not reduce test anxiety and does not increase academic achievement over time. However, during the early phases of instruction, giving students control over their own evaluation procedure (e.g., S-DT) may have promoted higher levels of satisfaction by removing the stimulus of threat. During the later phase of instruction, a saturation point may have been reached whereby students became more comfortable with unfamiliar course content. When this point was reached the method of testing (S-DT or T-DT) had no influence on satisfaction.

The results obtained from the student satisfaction survey also indicated that, in combination, S-DT and T-DT (a) complemented active learning in the classroom, (b) created a "syngerestic effect," and (c) helped students to focus more on learning course material instead of dwelling on grade performance.

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