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Frequency of examinations and student achievement in a randomized experiment

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  • De Paola, Maria
  • Scoppa, Vincenzo

Abstract

We carry out a randomized experiment involving undergraduate students enrolled at an Italian University attending two introductory economics classes to evaluate the impact on achievement of examination frequency and interim feedback provision. Students in the treated group were allowed to undertake an intermediate exam and were informed about the results obtained, while students in the control group could only take the final exam. The results show that students undertaking the intermediate exam perform better both in terms of the probability of passing the exams and of grades obtained. High ability students appear to benefit more from the treatment. The experiment design allows us to disentangle “workload division or commitment” effects from “feedback provision” effects. We find that the estimated treatment impact is due exclusively to the first effect, while the feedback provision has no positive effect on performance. Finally, the better performance of treated students in targeted examinations seems not to be obtained at the expenses of results earned in other examinations.

Suggested Citation

  • De Paola, Maria & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2011. "Frequency of examinations and student achievement in a randomized experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1416-1429.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:30:y:2011:i:6:p:1416-1429
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2011.07.009
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Cid, Alejandro & Cabrera, José María & Bernatzky, Marianne, 2017. "Frequency of testing. Lessons from a field experiment in higher education," MPRA Paper 84616, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Antonello E. Scorcu & Laura Vici, 2013. "Economic and cultural factors and illegal copying in the university textbook market," ACEI Working Paper Series AWP-01-2013, Association for Cultural Economics International, revised Feb 2013.
    3. Onji, Kazuki, 2013. "Estimating the effects of procrastination on performance: A small sample study," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 85-90.
    4. De Paola, Maria & Gioia, Francesca & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2015. "Are females scared of competing with males? Results from a field experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 117-128.
    5. Kooreman, Peter, 2013. "Rational students and resit exams," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 213-215.
    6. Shinya Kajitani & Keiichi Morimoto & Shiba Suzuki, 2017. "Relative Performance Information Feedback and Just-Pass Behavior: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Working Papers 36, Meisei University, School of Economics.
    7. Kooreman, Peter, 2012. "Rational Students and Resit Exams," IZA Discussion Papers 6832, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Mette Trier Damgaard & Helena Skyt Nielsen, 2017. "Nudging in education," Economics Working Papers 2017-05, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Frequency of examinations; Education production function; Work organization; Feedback provision; Higher education; Randomized evaluation;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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