Feedback Test Anxiety and Performance in a College

CourseThis essay was written to provide information on a study performed at Appalachian State University. The
object of this study was to confirm or refute if immediate feedback enhances learning. The effects of three forms of
test feedback were investigated within the necessary circumstance of a self paced, guideline based course in
educational psychology. There were 88 participants in the study, but 15 students were unable to complete the course
requirements, so their scores were not included in the report. These 73 undergraduate students completed seven
units of work and were assessed by computer administered unit tests. The students were randomly assigned to one
of the three test feedback forms being used in the study: 1. item by item knowledge of responses, 2. answer until
correct, and 3. delayed feedback. Students received their assigned feedback during work on the first two units, then
they were allowed to choose the feedback they preferred. Test anxiety was measured preceding to testing on
Satasons Test Anxiety Scale and during testing on an item administered by the computer. Undergraduates who
reported high test anxiety on the Scale experienced more anxiety during testing than students reporting low test
anxiety. The anxiety during testing was not related to the type of feedback, and the two variables were not related to
course performance on the second unit. Data collected at the end of the semester showed that students who
reported higher test anxiety required more attempts to pass unit tests than those with lower test anxiety. When the
undergraduates were asked they preferred the type of feedback, answer until correct. This preference was not related
to the Scale scores or to being allowed to choose forms of feedback.

Two strengths of this study are its testing and the use of the random assignment. I feel that the times in
which the administered the Test Anxiety Scale was an efficient time. If the Scale was administered afterwards then
the students would have to look back, and the thoughts on their anxiety could have been changed by how they feel
they did on their tests. The random assignment of feedback was a better choice than just allowing the student to
choose. If the student was allowed to choose, they already would have some idea of what they worked better with,
and that would not help in any way in the finds in the study, of which was bad and which was good feedback.

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One weakness of this study was that there have been others studies that contradict the findings in this
study. I also feel that some people just have high anxiety about tests no matter what kind of feedback they are given.


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