Universiteit Leiden

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PhD project

Effects of intermediate assessments on study behaviour, time on task and achievement

What is the optimal way to utilise intermediate assessment in improving study behaviour and study success?

2013 - 2017


  • Indira Day MSc - PhD candidate
  • prof.dr. W.F. Admiraal and prof.dr. M. Westenberg, PhD - supervisors
  • dr. F.M. van Blankenstein - co-supervisor

Project description


Over the last few years universities in the Netherlands adapted their educational programmes in an attempt to improve study success. However, there are still problems with drop-out and delay. It is important to investigate how different adaptations influence the educational outcomes. Information from this project may also benefit other universities that want to improve their education

Intermediate Assessment

Intermediate Assessment is defined as any course work that measures a course goal and takes place during the educational period. There are several reasons why intermediate assessment can improve study success. It prevents procrastination and can help students focus their study activities. Intermediate assessment may also influence study outcomes through the positive memory effects related to testing and spacing of study activities.

Research plan

Intermediate assessments can be incorporated in many different ways, therefore it is important to see what the optimal way is. We try to answer the following questions:

  1. In what way are assessment characteristics affecting study behaviour and study success?
  2. To what extent do student characteristics influence the relation between assessment characteristics and the outcome measures?

To answer the research questions different undergraduate courses will be compared. During this comparison we will focus on different assessment characteristics like type of assessment, formative aspects of assessment and frequency of assessment. Furthermore we look into student characteristics like motivation, self-efficacy and GPA. Data is collected using questionnaires and time-logs.

Scientific relevance

The current study adds onto existing study success literature by incorporating information from the curriculum. This curriculum information enriches the current theories.

This project is part of the Leiden University Study Success project, which entails 2 other projects, in which Bart Huisman is focusing on formative feedbackand Mayke Vereijken on the research-teaching nexus

2018: dissertation

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