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Comparison Of The Impact Of Pre And Post Lecture Quizzes On Student Learning In An Engineering Economics Course

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Engineering Economy Frontiers

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.327.1 - 10.327.9



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Paper Authors

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Rick Olson

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3542

Comparison of the Impact of Pre- and Post-Lecture Quizzes on Student Learning in an Engineering Economics Course

Rick T. Olson University of San Diego


In the past, the author has occasionally used the WebCT course delivery system to administer quizzes to encourage students to read the text before lecture. These quizzes have focused on the highlights of the material and were intended to encourage the student to come to class prepared for the lecture. During the Spring 2004 offering of Engineering Economics at the University of San Diego this practice was modified to determine whether these pre-lecture quizzes affected student learning.

One half of the class completed the quizzes before hearing the lecture on the material. The other half of the class completed the quizzes after hearing the lecture. Students also completed brief surveys assessing how well they understood each lecture immediately after the lecture. In this paper, the relationship between the timing of the quizzes and student perceptions of their understanding of the lectures is explored. The effects of quiz timing and lecture comprehension on homework and exam grades are also examined. The results of this work show that the students who read the text before the lecture tended to understand the lecture better than students who did not complete the reading assignments, and that they also performed better on exams and in the course.


As faculty, we implore our students to come to lectures prepared to learn. Although a survey of the pedagogic literature did not reveal formal studies explicitly relating pre-reading engineering lecture material to course success, faculty assume that pre-reading is beneficial and books written by students for students even suggest that reading before a lecture will help students to learn1.

To that end, we often assign reading from course texts and expect that students will have read material before coming to class. Some students diligently perform these pre-lecture reading assignments. Other students are less thorough and skim the material or read assignments only when time permits. Many students eschew the reading assignments and use the text only as a reference while working assigned problems.

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Olson, R. (2005, June), Comparison Of The Impact Of Pre And Post Lecture Quizzes On Student Learning In An Engineering Economics Course Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15012

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