Should computer-based study tasks use multiple-choice or constructed-response question formats? It was hypothesized that a constructed-response study task (CR) with feedback would be superior to multiple-choice study tasks that allowed either single or multiple tries (STF and MTF). Two additional recognition study task treatments were included that required an overt constructed response after feedback (STF+OR and MTF+OR) in order to control for possible confounding caused by response form mismatch between the recognition study task and recall posttest. Graduate students (N = 733) were randomly assigned to one of the five computer-delivered treatments. Relative to STF, posttest effect sizes were: STF < MTF (0.12) < CR (0.26) < STF+OR (0.55) < MTF+OR (0.62). As hypothesized, CR scores were larger than MTF and STF scores, although the difference was not significant. An overt response had a much stronger effect than expected. The theoretical and practical implications of these results are discussed.
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