Newsletter      Contact Us      Send to Friend      Access the Testmaker   

General Summary of Research on the IF-AT

In general, the studies performed to date on the Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique (the “IF-AT”) show that the answer-until-correct procedure actively engages learners in the correction of initially inaccurate responses, plays a crucial role in the acquisition of information, aides incorporation of accurate information into cognitive processes, and permits retrieval of correct answers during retention tests. The studies have further shown that students evaluated with Scantron forms typically have significantly lower retention and repeat more initial mistakes on subsequent examinations than students tested with the answer-until-correct method (i.e., the IF-AT).

The effectiveness of the IF-AT has been demonstrated in a number of studies conducted in classrooms and laboratories, with enhancements in student performance observed during cumulative assessments. In these studies, the provision of corrective information during classroom and laboratory tests reduced the likelihood of incorrect repeated responses on subsequent item administrations presented in their original or with a modified wording. The correction of initially inaccurate responses was maintained across retention intervals of 2 to 10 weeks and across populations ranging from preschool children with developmental delays to university students preparing for classroom examinations. Similar gains were not observed when responses were recorded with Scantron forms, and only intermediate gains were observed when feedback was provided either after the completion of a test or after a 24-hour delay.

Students without known learning difficulties (elementary school students through college students) reported that immediate feedback and the opportunity to respond until correct provided realistic assessments of performance, more involvement in the testing process, and the opportunity to exit an item with the correct solution. Students with diagnosed learning difficulties reported that immediate feedback enhanced the acquisition of basic academic materials (e.g., colors, shapes), enhanced rote memorization once a concept and the function of that concept were grasped (e.g., learning multiplication skills in discrete units), and that the answer-until-correct procedure enabled the completion of each test item as a discrete unit that could be resolved before approaching the next test item.

Among the most common advantages of the IF-AT reported by educators with special needs children in their classrooms and resource rooms was that the IF-AT not only provided feedback, but that the answer-until-correct procedure prompted students to continue to respond until the correct solution was attained. This latter advantage was not achieved when feedback was provided by an educator, as students required continuous prompting to maintain responding. When the IF-AT was used, feedback coupled to the opportunity to answer-until-correct could be provided to an entire class, whereas an educator could provide this combination to only one student at a time, which suggests a tremendous potential for the IF-AT as an adjunctive tool with special-needs learners under appropriate classroom conditions. For example, the IF-AT might not be appropriate for teaching concepts and their applications and functions, but it would be highly effective for assisting learners during rote memorization drills, such as those used while rehearsing mathematical fact series. The concept and function of an arithmetic operation, in keeping with NCTM 2000 principles and standards (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2000), must be presented by an educator. However, the encouragement of active learning, the provision of immediate feedback, and the use of an answer-until-correct procedure that maximizes time on task, are three cardinal principles of pedagogy (Rickey, 1995), and they are easily employed with the IF-AT.


What is the IF-AT?   Research & Articles  Test Maker  History of the IF-AT  Testimonials  Order
Contact Us  Send to Friend  Newsletter  Access the Testmaker
Epstein Educational Enterprises Questions?  Contact Us:
7650 Elbrook Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio 45237 (513) 531-3400