We experimentally investigated the effect of crib sheet construction and use on student learning and exam performance. Students expected to use their prepared crib sheets during testing; however, unexpectedly they first completed a pretest without their crib sheets. Students scored significantly better on the same questions with crib sheets compared to their performance without their sheets, signifying that constructing crib sheets did not enhance learning, but use enhanced performance. Students who expect to use crib sheets during testing rely on the sheet for information, suggesting that students do not learn the course material as well when they expect to use a crib sheet.
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