Using No-Stakes Quizzing for Student Self-Evaluation of Readiness for Exams

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Conference Proceeding

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Introductory level materials and methods courses in Construction Management (CM) programs generally require students to acquire an enormous new vocabulary. This vocabulary includes terminology pertaining to the materials themselves, as well as terminology defining the construction processes using the materials. Courses such as these form a backbone of knowledge that is necessary in nearly every other CM course, whether they are formal prerequisites or not.

Students are often not prepared for the amount of self-directed studying they must do to be successful in this type of course, particularly as freshmen in college. To assist students in more accurately gauging their readiness for an exam, no-stakes (optional) quizzes were implemented within the Blackboard course management system in a freshman level CM materials and methods course, giving students an opportunity to practice their new language with no grade-related consequences.

This paper presents preliminary results of that effort and illustrates the effects of this no-stakes (optional) quizzing. Specifically, this paper evaluates (1) whether the quizzing helps students to better prepare for medium- and high-stakes exams; and (2) whether the quizzing increases the mean exam scores compared to previous semesters with no quizzing.

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