Open-note quizzes may seem like a practice too juvenile for university students, but consider how the open-note quiz facilitates student learning practices that faculty are fond of:


  • stronger listening skills
  • student elaboration when writing/encoding—which can facilitate future retrieval
  • student retrieval of a memory that involves multiple “paved roads” through the brain (the “paved road” of hand to paper, of visual-perception processes, of letter and symbol formation and arrangement on the page)
  • stronger note-taking (without good notes, the student doesn’t do well on the open-notes quiz)

Example of Open-Notes Quizzes Syllabus Statement (feel free to copy or modify): 


Why We Will Have Open Notes Quizzes:

I want to know that you’re learning what we go over in class, and one of the best ones to encourage this is for me to use open notes quizzes. This does a number of things. It helps you become a stronger listener, because the quality of your notes determines how well you will do later on the quizzes or tests. It also encourages you to learn the material better when you first hear it, because you usually write in your own words what you are hearing.