As part of our series on assessments, let’s talk about quizzes as a formative assessment strategy. Teachers need to analyse the acceptance of quizzes in the student community. Firstly, any assessment must be designed to improve the student’s learning and aid in retention and retrieval of information. Secondly, the assessment strategy must not increase student anxiety or strike fear. It must allure the student towards good grades and help them increase their efforts in studies.
In this article, let’s see how teachers can monitor the use of a quiz as an assessment tool. Teachers can quickly gauge the impact of their lecture on a topic, by using formative assessment tools like a quiz. However, the relationship between a teacher and students is always a tenuous one, fragile at times. A teacher should always keep an ear to the ground and observe how quizzes have an impact on the learning outcomes of students. Quizzes are liked and disliked in equal measures by students. You need to strike a balance on how many quizzes you want to give students, and the frequency of quizzes.
Need for Quizzes as Part of the Assessment Strategy
Quizzes have been around for decades in the education system. They have evolved in structure, content and deployment. The aim of a quiz must be to bring out the learning spirit in all types of students. Teachers handle all types of students like the back bencher, the recalcitrant student, the high achiever, the nerd and many more. Above all, they need to study how students prepare and participate in a quiz. Various empirical studies on quizzes indicate that they help in retention of knowledge for a longer period and also increase study time in between exams.
Students will always want something back in return for a quiz. They will be happy with grade points or a quick award or recognition in some form.
Student engagement and total acceptance of the purpose of the quiz is a key measure of whether you have met your quiz goals. You don’t want your student to randomly guess an answer. It defeats the purpose of the quiz. So, how do you engage the entire class to give it the same importance as a written test?
Engaging Students to Prepare for Quizzes
Students usually favour the less is more approach – less writing, quick selection of answers and additional grades is a good formula that works for them. A quiz would be just right.
One would be the stick approach. Have a good measure of grade points associated with the quiz. This will surely raise the competitive awareness amongst students.
Design the quiz in a collaborative manner. Inform the students ahead of time about the concepts that you will be covering in the upcoming quiz. Explain to students the nature of the quiz in advance – is it going to touch on concepts or applications? You can collaborate with your students using social media and pick a time of the week to conduct a quiz.
Classe365 has an interesting approach to social collaboration. Check out the video on how to use social discussions in the LMS module from Classe365.
Advertise and Build Expectations about a Quiz
Build a campaign around the quiz itself. Students usually prepare for monthly tests and quarterly exams, but quizzes are something that students may have to be motivated to take up. Surprise quizzes and attendance incentives may be one technique to bring the students in to the classes. Similarly, having a pre-class quiz also helps. A pre-class quiz can cover assessment of basic concepts of the topic being covered in the class.
Using Classe365, you can develop and design interesting quizzes at any level of detail you want. Check out our video on LMS that has a section on designing quizzes here.
Feedback and Fallout of Quizzes
Have a feedback mechanism about the quiz itself. Maybe the last question in the quiz itself could cover aspects like whether the quiz helped them analyse their strengths and weakness on the topic covered in the quiz.
While quizzes are a nice tool to bring in students to a class, a graded quiz may also keep the student away from the class. Checking attendance statistics will also give an interesting data point about how frequent quizzes impact attendance in class. Classe365 has an attendance module that generates attendance reports by class and student.
As an institution, you can use quiz results as a tool to analyse study patterns and information retention capability of students. Analysing data available from attendance reports and grade books, you can study the range of improvement in overall grades due to quizzes.
Check out the video on the attendance module here.
Impact of Quiz Design
You must design the quiz to have a right mix questions. Questions can be multiple choice questions, true-false questions and so on. In other words, some questions require a student to infer an answer, or some questiona require recall. For example, a question on the color code for resistors may require the student to recall the color formula. However, a question on a simple circuit, may require the student to apply laws and arrive at an answer.
Most importantly, it takes a concerted effort from your organization to analyse grades, attendance and other factors that may impact a student’s study cycle.
Start a discussion about quizzes on Classe365!
In short, quizzes can be used as a means to collaborate with the students meaningfully, ensure attendance and improve the reading habits of the student. Follow a collaborative approach to designing and scheduling quizzes – let us know how quizzes helped you improve student engagement and participation!