What is it?
Online quizzes usually consist of short-answer questions (MCQs, true or false, cloze, matching, etc). They can assess a wide variety of module content so can be used to balance assessment patterns on modules with end-of-term only assessment or to ensure students engage with all module content regardless of assessment choices. If the module is assessed through exams, they also provide valuable feedback opportunities to students about their performance, exam strategies, and areas for further study (Salas-Morena et al, 2012). Because students can complete them independently and asynchronously, online quizzes are an accessible form of assessment for all students and can facilitate self-regulatory behaviour and time- management.
Why would I use it?
- They can be used as diagnostic assessment before a session to assess prior knowledge, or after a unit for revision.
- They can be used synchronously in-class as an active learning tool (using PollEverywhere or Mentimeter for example), or asynchronously in the students’ own time on KEATS.
- Quiz analytics (KEATS Quiz has this function) provide an overview of the cohort’s performance, allowing teachers to make choices about areas of content where students need extra instruction and practice.
- They can be purely formative, or assigned a weighting for continuous summative assessment. If formative but you are concerned about student engagement, or you require quizzes to be completed for lab safety, you can also make completion a pre-requisite to accessing the following session’s materials on KEATS. KEATS uses a conditional release function or you can use a checklist for students to ensure they have completed certain requirements. Contact CTEL for any help with this.
- If the quiz will be weighted, ensure the order of the questions is random for individual students to minimise the potential for collusion.
- Optimal feedback opportunities for online quizzes would do more than provide correct answers, but also explanations for answers and provide links to resources for further study.
- Although good MCQs can be designed to include more analytical thinking and deeper learning (see below), they will of course not be suitable for all disciplines or learning outcomes.
- It is important to bear in mind research on gender bias of ‘objective’ MCQ style- testing (Wilson et al, 2016; Traxler et al, 2018) when considering using quizzes as the only form of assessment.
How has it been used?
In addition to the usual post-session quizzes, other innovate uses of quizzes include:
- The University of Bristol’s Language Centre used an online diagnostic quiz for initial streaming of levels.
- Lab safety or pre-practical quiz.
- It is possible to use a quiz synchronously during the class (using KEATS, PollEverywhere or Mentimeter) as part of a flipped learning model. This encourages students to engage with prior reading (Johnson and Kiviniemi, 2009). Here are two case studies in Law and Engineering of using PollEverywhere in class for combining active learning engagement in lectures with formative assessment of session content.
- Using quizzes for reflection, for example Carter et al (2000) and Marriott-Statham (2017) both from nursing.
- Students creating quizzes for each other using Peerwise as in this example from Chemistry.
King’s CTEL and King’s Online are available for help with the functionality of KEATS for developing online quizzes, and have worked with departments to create bespoke quizzes. See How can I use online quizzes? for links to their KEATS guides.