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Learning Mathematics Problem Solving through Test Practice: a Randomized Field Experiment on a Global Scale

Avvisati, F; Borgonovi, F; (2020) Learning Mathematics Problem Solving through Test Practice: a Randomized Field Experiment on a Global Scale. Educational Psychology Review 10.1007/s10648-020-09520-6. Green open access

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Abstract

We measure the effect of a single test practice on 15-year-old students’ ability to solve mathematics problems using large, representative samples of the schooled population in 32 countries. We exploit three unique features of the 2012 administration of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a large-scale, low-stakes international assessment. During the 2012 PISA administration, participating students were asked to sit two separate tests consisting of problem-solving tasks. Both tests included questions that covered the same internationally recognized and validated framework for mathematics assessment. Students were randomly assigned in the first, 2-h-long test to one of three test versions containing varying amounts of mathematics, reading, and science problems. We found that the amount of mathematics problems in the first test had a small positive effect on mean mathematics performance on the second test, but no effect on general reasoning and problem-solving ability. Subject-specific effects of test practice on subsequent test performance were found over both short lags (same day) and medium lags (1–7 days). The learning gains ascribed to mathematics problem-solving practice were larger for boys than for girls.

Type: Article
Title: Learning Mathematics Problem Solving through Test Practice: a Randomized Field Experiment on a Global Scale
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10648-020-09520-6
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10648-020-09520-6
Language: English
Additional information: Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Retrieval practice, Large-scale international assessments, Mathematics, Problem solving, Testing
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10092737
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