Document Type


Publication Title

The International Journal of Assessment and Evaluation

Publication Date



When faced with deadlines, people tend to procrastinate. Students do this by delaying study time until examinations are so close the only option left is cramming. This procrastination scallop is a well-established behavioral phenomenon in both human and infrahuman species. Distributed practice also has been demonstrated to be superior to massed practice in the cognitive literature. Frequent testing provides opportunities for distributed practice and rehearsals that fill the gap between acquisition and the big test, creating its own mini-scallops. In sections of Introductory Psychology, Research Design, and Learning and Behavior courses, standard pre-post testing was conducted at the start and end of the semester over many years. No weekly quizzes were required in one course for a few semesters,in contrast to the remaining courses. Mean assessment gains were substantially bigger with than without weekly quizzes and the difference was statistically significant. The results indicate beneficial assessment gains in learning from frequent quizzes and suggest potential alternative strategies for faculty to implement low-cost effective instructional practices that students may benefit from.

Included in

Psychology Commons