To encourage greater depths of both processing and retrieval by students during testing, the authors inserted one new, unfamiliar plant (i.e., a “ringer”) into the pool of samples assembled for each plant-identification quiz. Each ringer was chosen to be superficially similar to – and yet distinctively different from – a plant species covered earlier in the course. The addition of the ringer made the tests both more authentic and more valuable by training students to look beyond the superficial details and make substantive, evidence-based identifications.

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