Using Electronic Flashcards for Student Self-Evaluation of Readiness for Exams

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Conference Proceeding

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Introductory level courses in many Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) disciplines require students to acquire an enormous new discipline-specific vocabulary in preparation for future courses. Students are often not prepared for the amount of self-directed studying they must do to be successful in these types of courses, particularly in their first year of college.

To assist students in more accurately gauging their readiness for an exam, electronic flashcards were implemented in a freshman level Construction Management (CM) materials and methods course, using university provided mobile devices. The flashcards give students a learning aid that they can use to practice their new language with no grade-related consequences. The electronic flashcards provide students an opportunity to self-assess their current level of knowledge, as well as identify where their knowledge may be incorrect or lacking altogether. Construction of accurate self-knowledge is a skill many new college students need assistance to develop. Use of the flashcards may help them improve these skills.

This paper presents preliminary results of the research effort and illustrates the effects of the electronic flashcards. Specifically, this paper evaluates (1) whether the flashcards help students to better prepare for medium and high stakes exams; and (2) whether the flashcards increase the mean exam scores compared to previous semesters with no flashcards.

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