The Costs and Benefits of Providing Feedback During Learning (bibtex)
by Hays, Matthew, Kornell, Nate and Bjork, Robert A.
Abstract:
It seems uncontroversial that providing feedback after a test, in the form of the correct answer, enhances learning. In real-world educational situations, however, the time available for learning is often constrained– and feedback takes time. We report an experiment in which total time for learning was fixed, thereby creating a trade-off between spending time receiving feedback and spending time on other learning activities. Our results suggest that providing feedback is not universally beneficial. Indeed, under some circumstances, taking time to provide feedback can have a negative net effect on learning. We also found that learners appear to have some insight about the costs of feedback; when they were allowed to control feedback, they often skipped unnecessary feedback in favor of additional retrieval attempts, and they benefited from doing so. These results underscore the importance of considering the costs and benefits of interventions designed to enhance learning.
Reference:
The Costs and Benefits of Providing Feedback During Learning (Hays, Matthew, Kornell, Nate and Bjork, Robert A.), In Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, volume 17, 2010.
Bibtex Entry:
@article{hays_costs_2010,
	title = {The {Costs} and {Benefits} of {Providing} {Feedback} {During} {Learning}},
	volume = {17},
	url = {http://www.ict.usc.edu/pubs/The%20costs%20and%20benefits%20of%20providing%20feedback%20during%20learning.pdf},
	abstract = {It seems uncontroversial that providing feedback after a test, in the form of the correct answer, enhances learning. In real-world educational situations, however, the time available for learning is often constrained– and feedback takes time. We report an experiment in which total time for learning was fixed, thereby creating a trade-off between spending time receiving feedback and spending time on other learning activities. Our results suggest that providing feedback is not universally beneficial. Indeed, under some circumstances, taking time to provide feedback can have a negative net effect on learning. We also found that learners appear to have some insight about the costs of feedback; when they were allowed to control feedback, they often skipped unnecessary feedback in favor of additional retrieval attempts, and they benefited from doing so. These results underscore the importance of considering the costs and benefits of interventions designed to enhance learning.},
	number = {6},
	journal = {Psychonomic Bulletin \& Review},
	author = {Hays, Matthew and Kornell, Nate and Bjork, Robert A.},
	month = dec,
	year = {2010},
	pages = {797--801}
}
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