The impact of feedback during formative testing on study behaviour and performance of (bio)medical students: a randomised controlled study

D. H. J. Thijssen, M. T. E. Hopman, M. T. van Wijngaarden, J. G. J. Hoenderop, R. J. M. Bindels, T. M. H. Eijsvogels
2019 BMC Medical Education  
A potential concern of formative testing using web-based applications ("apps") is provision of limited feedback. Adopting a randomised controlled trial in 463 first year (bio) medical students, we explored if providing immediate, detailed feedback during "app"-based formative testing can further improve study behaviour and study performance of (bio)medical students. Methods: Students had access to a formative testing "app", which involved 7 formative test modules throughout the 4week course. In
more » ... a randomised order, subjects received the "app" with (n = 231, intervention) or without (n = 232, control) detailed feedback during the formative test modules. Results: No differences in app-use was found between groups (P = 0.15), whereas the intervention group more frequently reviewed information compared to controls (P = 0.007). Exam scores differed between non−/moderate −/intensiveusers of the "app" (P < 0.001). No differences in exam scores were found between intervention (6.6 ± 1.1) versus control (6.6 ± 1.1, P = 0.18). Time spent studying was significantly higher compared to previous courses in moderate-and intensive-users (P = 0.006 and < 0.001, respectively), but not in non-users (P = 0.55). Time spent studying did not differ between groups (P > 0.05). Conclusions: Providing detailed feedback did not further enhance the effect of a web-based application of formative testing on study behaviour or study performance in (bio)medical students, possibly because of a ceiling-effect.
doi:10.1186/s12909-019-1534-x fatcat:jczbkalcwfauzfi3yzttqnu6rm