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The Effects of a Student-Generated Lesson Summary on Retention *

Difficulty
Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
*Note: This is an abbreviated Project Idea, without notes to start your background research, a specific list of materials, or a procedure for how to do the experiment. You can identify abbreviated Project Ideas by the asterisk at the end of the title. If you want a Project Idea with full instructions, please pick one without an asterisk.

Abstract

We can't say it any better than he did, so here is Ryan Ponec's capsule description of his excellent project (Ponec, 2002): "At the end of a lesson, a teacher will sometimes have students summarize the information presented by stating, 'Tell me something you learned.' The purpose of this experiment is to determine whether or not this 'lesson summary' significantly enhances the students' ability to later recall the information presented. Students from grade levels fifth through eighth were divided into six groups. All six groups were read the same article. None of the students knew they would be tested on the material later. At the end of the article, half of the groups were asked to state something they had learned from the article until ten responses were obtained (about three minutes). This was called a "lesson summary." It was a brief, student-generated summary (the students volunteered the oral information). The other groups did not perform a lesson summary. Both groups were later tested for retention of the information, and their scores compared. The process was then repeated for a second article and test, but with the groups reversed (i.e., the previous "lesson summary" group was now the "no lesson summary" group)."

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Last edit date: 2013-01-10

Bibliography

Ponec, R., 2002. "The Effects of a Student Generated Lesson Summary on Retention," California State Science Fair Project Abstract [accessed February 1, 2006] http://www.usc.edu/CSSF/History/2002/Projects/J1712.pdf.

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