The Midterm Wrapper: Quasi-Experimental Evidence of an Effective Performance Intervention

Christie Cathey, Lydia Needy, Charles Hoogland


The current study examined the effectiveness of a midterm performance intervention designed to help Introductory Psychology students improve their study skills and course performance over the second half of the semester. The ‘midterm wrapper’, a self-reflective online performance intervention, asks students to engage actively with their midterm grade feedback by listing all scores that made up this grade, comparing their own past study strategies and academic habits to a list of effective strategies and habits and listing the study-related adjustments they plan to make for the second half of the semester. In a quasi-experiment, we compared 402 students who completed the midterm wrapper to 376 students who did not complete it on their post-midterm course performance. As hypothesized, controlling for pre-midterm performance, students who completed the midterm wrapper assignment scored higher on all post-midterm exams, completed more post-midterm homework assignments and ended the course with higher final grades than those who did not complete the assignment. The midterm wrapper takes little time on the part of instructors or students, but it is an effective means of encouraging students to reflect on their past performance and make necessary adjustments in time to improve their overall course performance.


performance intervention, midterm grades, study skills


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