The influence of early questions on learning from text

Catherine O Fritz, Peter E Morris, Vikki-Leigh Crowther, Nichola Benn

Research output: Contribution to ConferencePosterpeer-review


In this research we explored the use of short-answer questions to improve learning from chapter-like texts (3395 words). Experiment 1 investigated the influence of pre-questions on recall from a text passage when tested a week later; two question sets were counterbalanced within the experimental group. Participants with pre-questions scored higher both overall (d = 3.6, 95%CI [2.4, 4.8]) and on novel questions (d = 2.0 [1.6, 2.4]). In Experiment 2, questions were made available immediately after studying the text either alongside the text, open-book, or closed-book with the opportunity to check answers, or not at all with additional study time. Learning was tested after a week. Although the immediate test scores were substantially higher for open- than closed-book tests, week-delayed performance on the same items was much worse for open-book tests and was moderately improved for closed-book tests. For seen questions, closed-book tests led to better delayed recall than did open-book tests, d = 0.7 [0.02, 1.5]. For novel questions, observed differences were small; ds = .2 [-0.6, 0.9] for both comparisons.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2014
Event55th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society - Long Beach, California
Duration: 21 Nov 2014 → …


Conference55th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society
Period21/11/14 → …
Internet address


  • Learning from text
  • memory
  • test practice
  • advance organizer
  • pre-test
  • open-book test
  • closed-book test


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