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Head, full of cogwheels and a questionmark
Created by “Tumisu”; shared on Pixaby with CC0 licence.

Most academics know that students value having formative assessment within a module (even if they don’t always access it as often as you might like). Today, we’ll have a look at the Quiz tools that are in My Dundee, and some of the other options that you might want to us, to enable students to engage with formative assessment.

If you haven’t looked at the quiz tools in My Dundee for some time, you might be pleasantly surprised to find the range of question types that are now available.

Click larger version

Blackboard has descriptions of all the question types, and information about scoring options etc.

As formative assessment is primarily to find out what students don’t know, so that they can learn it, one useful trick can be, rather than thinking of multiple choice questions to cover key facts, to have short answer questions – that aren’t automatically graded. You can then skim the answers given by students, and give support in class for common misconceptions. (This method can also be useful to start to build up possible answers for multiple choice, as you’ll be including common errors, rather than errors you think the students might make).

Another option for involving students in this process is Peerwise. It allows you to get students to create multiple choice questions for each other – which gets them to engage with the content, and to identify what the key concepts are.

David Martin (Life Sciences) has used this, and has a playlist of videos to help you get going as a tutor. (Hint: To start, click on the “Get Started” link in the upper right of the screen, don’t try to find Dundee in the large search box!)

How would you see your use of formative assessment in your modules? Do they lend themselves well to multiple choice and other objective question types, or do you feel there are other ways that work better with your cohort?

What do you feel about peer / self assessment? Both My Dundee and Turnitin allow you to set up peer assessments for essays etc, to allow students to reflect on each other’s work – and both allow you to create a series of questions to help the students comment on others work.

If there are any students reading this – what are your feelings on self/peer assessment? Have you had to take part in peer assessment, either at University, or in school/College? What value did you get from having your work peer assessed? What  did you gain from assessing someone else’s?

Blackboard quiz creator

If you are using the basic question types in Blackboard, there are a number of sites that allow you to create a file of questions, and import them into Blackboard.

  • Newcastle – this allows you to include feedback; and it creates a zip file for import into a pool. Once you have input your text, click the “Blackboard” button to generate the zip file.
  • College of DuPage – an overview of other’s tools, (including Southern Idaho, who developed the original tool).

Supporting research

  • Kivunja, C. (2015). Why Students Don’t Like Assessment and How to Change Their Perceptions in 21st Century Pedagogies. Creative Education6(20), 2117–2126.
    Covers assessment generally, rather than just formative, but makes suggestions for approaches to assessment generally.
  • Raes, A., Vanderhoven, E., & Schellens, T. (2015). Increasing anonymity in peer assessment by using classroom response technology within face-to-face higher education. Studies in Higher Education40(1), 178-193.
    While this looks at Classroom response technology, it covers peer assessment generally. The options we have in Turnitin and Blackboard allow for the peer assessment to be anonymous.

The Distracted classroom

series of posts on The Chronicle of Higher Education, looking how technology can distract students, but also how staff can use it to engage students in the classroom.

Question the guru

Many of you will have read Phil Race’s books, and will have seen some of his presentations. In August, he’s offering to answer your questions! August Project: your questions please . So far, he’s not shared any questions on his site, could someone from Dundee be the first?!

As we all know designing MCQs isn’t as easy as it could be. You may have seen this before, as Phil Race uses it frequently – though it’s been used by quite a lot of others, and appears to have originated in Australia.

2 thoughts on “Day 4: Adding Interactivity 1 (Quizzes)

    1. Hello Caroline
      Thanks for spotting that – it was an update that we did, and did’t realise it had overwritten content. It’s now fixed, and, hopefully, we’ve learnt what not to do in the future.

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