Take at look at this exam given to 556 seniors at major univesities (Brown, Harvard, Princeton). Only one student earned a 100% and the average from these Ivy's a poor 53%. What this tells us that the factoid is not really relevant in the world today or something that powerful minds will remember. Anyways, who need to memorize them now AG (After Google)--another topic.
It did not take me long to change the way I was teaching. No more fill the blanks, no more one word answers. This was not an easy task and after 15 years, is still not an easy task. Students are trained to want to find the one right answer--the less said the better. They have to be taught the difference between "Skinny" (closed) and "Phat" (opened) questions. They need to understand how to answer each type of question. They need to be trained to read between the lines for ideas hidden in text. They need main skills for the modern world that filling in the blank will not teach them.
This is a topic I will come back to, but today when a student said, "Is that the right answer, Mr. Holman?" I had to comment.