Join Kevin Kelly for an in-depth discussion in this video Administering digital quizzes, tests, and exams, part of Teaching with Technology.
- One of the most common assessment strategies involves giving some sort of quiz or exam. Depending on your goal, you can digitize some or all of the exam process. We'll look at the process based on who participates, collect and use student-generated questions, use third-party assessment questions, assessments or tools, and create your own digital assessments. In their book on classroom assessment techniques, Pat Cross and Tom Angelo suggest asking students to create quiz questions to see what students find important or memorable, what they understand as fair and useful test questions, and how well they can answer the questions.
You can use any number of tools to do this, a Google Form that feeds a Google Spreadsheet, comments on a blog page, or a discussion forum. Be sure to provide some examples. Students should include a question, correct and incorrect answers, which learning outcome the question addresses, where to find the answer to the question in the class materials, and anything else that might guide your students. Let students know how the questions will be used. For example, you might share them for review purposes, you might include a certain number on an upcoming test, or you might do both.
In the movie about teachers as collage artists we looked at how to use or modify content created by someone else. Here we'll look at how to use or modify assessments created by someone else. Many textbook publishers provide pools or banks of questions that you can use for your class. It's important to vet the questions to make sure they relate to your learning outcomes and material you've covered as a class. You might end up with only 25 or 50 questions out of several hundred. You can use these questions in a Learning Management System quiz tool or with clickers.
Advanced publisher environments like WileyPLUS have built-in assessment tools that provide immediate feedback and links to the content required to answer each question correctly. Courses related to STEM topics include algorithmically-derived questions that provide an almost infinite number of chances to practice solving specific problems. Khan Academy is more than just a site with hundreds of screencasts if you set up a Khan Academy mission or playlist for your students, which requires them to demonstrate their learning along the way. You can monitor their progress as they go through mastery challenges.
If you want to digitze a paper exam or create a new one from scratch, there are tools for that too. If your institution uses a Learning Management System, you can easily create a quiz by importing questions from a Word document with a little additional formatting, or creating questions from scratch. Usually there are quite a few question types, such as multiple choice, multiple answer, matching, short answer or essay. An anatomy instructor at San Francisco State University was reluctant to use digital quizzes at first. He was afraid students would work together.
I told him that often those types of collaboration improved the learning process. He tried it out, and saw that students did better overall, even on the in-class exams when they worked alone. After that, he told all students that they should take all the quizzes with a classmate. If you do not have access to a Learning Management System, there are tools out there for you too. For example, you can create a quiz with Google Forms, give students the link to take it, and then grade it with a free third-party tool called Flubaroo. There are general quiz websites like QuizStar, as well as discipline-specific sites like ThatQuiz, that have pre-made quizzes about math, geometry, basic science, vocabulary for multiple languages and geography.
Apps like Socrative allow you to conduct real-time questioning in class, if everyone has a tablet or mobile device. There are more ways to digitize aspects of the testing process. Before reviewing the next movie, take a minute to answer the following questions for yourself. Who will generate test questions, your students, a publisher or third party, or you, and how will you deliver your quiz or exam?
Author Kevin Kelly explains how learning outcomes can be adapted to support technology in the classroom, and guides educators through selecting the appropriate technology for their activity, module, or class. Then he shows how to apply technology in three key areas: finding, creating, and sharing content with students; facilitating classroom activities; and assessing learning inside the classroom or online.
- Including technology in your learning outcomes
- Applying Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles
- Finding and creating content and instructional materials
- Enhancing lectures and presentations with technology
- Getting students involved
- Facilitating in-class activities
- Assessing learning
- Teaching effectively online