Effects of elaborate feedback during practice tests: Costs and benefits of retrieval prompts
Van den Broek, G. S. E., Segers, E., Van Rijn, H., Takashima, A., & Verhoeven, L.
Effects of elaborate feedback during practice tests: Costs and benefits of retrieval prompts. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 25
(4), 588-601. doi:10.1037/xap0000212.
This study explores the effect of feedback with hints on students’ recall of words. In three classroom experiments, high school students individually practiced vocabulary words through computerized retrieval practice with either standard show-answer feedback (display of answer) or hints feedback after incorrect responses. Hints feedback gave students a second chance to find the correct response using orthographic (Experiment 1), mnemonic (Experiment 2), or cross-language hints (Experiment 3). During practice, hints led to a shift of practice time from further repetitions to longer feedback processing but did not reduce (repeated) errors. There was no effect of feedback on later recall except when the hints from practice were also available on the test, indicating limited transfer of practice with hints to later recall without hints (in Experiments 1 and 2). Overall, hints feedback was not preferable over show-answer feedback. The common notion that hints are beneficial may not hold when the total practice time is limited.