Assessing the Efficacy of Structured Reading Questions on Test Performance in an Undergraduate Geography Course

Authors: Elizabeth Dzwonczyk*, United States Military Academy, David J Leydet, United States Military Academy
Topics: Higher Education, Geography Education
Keywords: Undergraduate Education, Structured Reading Questions, Teaching Best Practices,
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Having students complete required course preparation and assigned readings prior to class has frustrated professors for decades. In this study, we assess the efficacy of structured reading questions in an entry-level geography course to examine if students would perform better on three major exams. Two versions of structured reading question handouts were tested; one a detailed reading guide and the other encompassing only the lesson objectives and key terms. Overall performance on the exams did not correlate with the presence of structured reading handouts, regardless of handout version. Our findings indicate that structured reading notes did not have a quantifiable effect on test performance. However, our qualitative research indicates that students that completed handouts felt more confident with course material and test performance indicating handouts are beneficial. When considering the student's college entrance examination rank (CEER), an admissions tool, the authors identified a correlation between CEER score and academic performance. However, there was no correlation between handout presence or handout version when comparing among different CEER score groups.

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