A Convergent Parallel Mixed-Method Research Into the Use of the Cheat Sheet in Teacher Education: State Test Anxiety, Exam Scores and Opinions of Prospective Teachers
The aim of the study is to investigate the use of cheat sheets in teacher education. The research analyzed state test anxiety levels of prospective teachers, the correlation between their cheat sheet evaluation scores and exam scores, and opinions of prospective teachers about the cheat sheet. Thus, the study was conducted as a convergent parallel mixed-method research in which both quantitative and qualitative methods were used simultaneously. The study group consisted of 24 prospective teachers. Data regarding state test anxiety levels of the prospective teachers were gathered just before the exam via State Test Anxiety Scale. The cheat sheet evaluation rubric designed by the researcher was used to evaluate the cheat sheets prepared by the prospective teachers. The prospective teachers’ exam scores were obtained from their responses. The data about opinions of the prospective teachers were collected via Standardized Interview Form developed by the researcher. The findings of the study revealed that prospective teachers’ overall state text anxiety was at “very little” level. There was a statistically significant and positive correlation between the prospective teachers’ cheat sheet evaluation scores and their exam scores. Qualitative findings revealed that the prospective teachers started taking notes at the beginning of the semester to write on their cheat sheets; however, they started to write their cheat sheets the day before the exam. They wrote their cheat sheets in 3-5 hours, and spent 3-5 hours studying for the exam. The prospective teachers rarely used their cheat sheets during the exam; however, the cheat sheet helped them learn the material, and they wanted to use cheat sheets in other courses. The prospective teachers used different strategies while writing their cheat sheets. Based on the conclusions of the study, teacher educators are also recommended to let prospective teachers use cheat sheets during exams to reduce their anxiety, to increase their exam scores, and most importantly, to help them learn the material thoroughly.