Do a pre-course quiz to show students how much they learn in your course
I did read one study noting that pre-testing significantly (in the statistical sense) increases students' long-term retention of the Bmaterial, writes Christopher Born. He says:
"One class I teach is an introduction to religious studies. At the outset of the class, I give my students the Pew Forum Religious Literacy Quiz. I make the argument (as does Stephen Prothero in his book) that one needs to be "religiously literate" as much as "culturally literate" or "civically literate" to participate effectively in public discourse.
I "grade" the quiz and let them know their score - it does not count toward their actual grade. At the end of the course, I give them the quiz again to show how they have improved and how they expanded their knowledge in the area. I don't teach to the quiz...I just cover my material in the course. They seem very happy to see how much they have improved in the course. It gives them a specific measure in addition to their grade.