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Online Quizzing

Description of Activity: Students use an online quizzing program to take a quiz. This can be done in a moderated setting, or unmoderated. A few ideas of ways to curb academic dishonesty are listed below along with a selection of tools that allow for online quizzing.

Appropriate Content Areas: Any

Examples:
arrow button Online Learning Orientation Quiz 
arrow button Biology Quiz 

Goals & Objectives:

The primary goal of a quiz is to assess student learning in a timed, closed environment. Primary attributes tested are recall in multiple choice to more complex thought processes in essay questions.

Prerequisites:

Quizzes are usually taken after a content module, however, some preknowledge quizzes can be employed to serve as learning aids and also to help the instructor plan instruction.

Materials and Resources:

What needs to be prepared in advance by the teacher? - The instructor should have a large database of questions that have been verified against bias and for attendance to actual course objectives and learning material content.

What does the student need to bring to the lesson? - A full mind.

Guiding Questions for this Activity:

Is quizzing the best option to assess the given materials? What are the objectives for the given unit, and how does quizzing help to insure that the students have met those objectives?

Typical Activity Outlines and Procedures:

Following a unit of activity, students are presented with a quiz using an online quizzing tool. Quizzes are generally available for a set period of time, and often the students are only allowed a brief period of time to finish the quiz once started. Proctoring or other means of curbing academic dishonesty may also be employed.

Teaching Strategies:

  1. Unless you plan to use a proctoring site, plan on the quiz being open notes.
  2. Use question data banks so that all students get a randomized quiz and can't copy from one another.
  3. Use random numerical values when possible so that each students gets different numbers for numerical answers, even if the rest of the question is the same.
  4. Create questions in many formats so that multiple choice guessing is minimized.
  5. Insert at least one higher level thinking question in short answer or essay form.
  6. Embed quizzes within other exercises. A pop quiz during a synchronous session can keep students on their toes so to speak.
  7. Monitor IP addresses for quiz taking. If a student is always taking a quiz at one IP address but completing other course content from another IP address, there is a possible sign of cheating.
  8. Provide practice exams. In some cases, students can be provided with a bank of questions before the actual quiz to work through. They will then learn how to do every question, even though the actual quiz may only include a subset of those questions.
  9. Use a login system with specific time constraints for the quiz. Provide connection information when the quiz is ready to begin. This can make cheating coordination more difficult.
  10. Beware the blank in a course management system. In other words, a student may try to insert an image tag into a question answer, then complete that image tag on a separate server at a later time, once they know the answer. Viewing student answers in an unusual font can help detect blanks like this.
  11. Consider having student check in via video conferencing prior to beginning the quiz.
  12. Provide an honor code at the start of the course and make cheating policies clear in the syllabus.
  13. Allow the students to write quiz questions that are then given to the class. This can create student ownership over the process and increase motivation to perform the work.
  14. For more resources, see http://www.ion.uillinois.edu/resources/pointersclickers/2005_01/VarvelCheatPoint2005.pdf. You can also do a Web search for "online" "quizzing" "academic" and/or "honesty" as examples to receive a number of helpful resources.
  15. Sample Test Questions Addressing Bloom's Taxonomy,http://www.ion.uillinois.edu/resources/tutorials/assessment/bloomtest.asp
  16. Writing Tests (2000) Center for Teaching Excellence, University of Kansas,http://iteso.mx/~ruth/01_tips/12_escritura/writingtests.html
  17. Building Better e-Assessments (2001, June) Margaret Driscoll, Learning Circuits,http://www.learningcircuits.org/2001/jun2001/driscoll.html
  18. Computer and Testing (1999) Tom Rocklin, The National Teaching and Learning Forum, 8(5),http://www.ntlf.com/html/pi/9909/techped_1.htm

Accommodations:

What accommodations may be needed for students with disabilities or other special needs? This lesson may require accommodations. Visual questions may require assistance for the blind. Most text to speech and speech to text programs can function within most tools, but you will have to test the given system in the given context. Audio quizzes may need to be performed. Students with reading disorders such as dislexia may need additional time. The bandwidth requirements are usually low unless video questions will be used in the quizzing or videoconferencing of some form will be performed to verify participants.

Timeline:

The typical quiz runs from 15 minutes to 3 hours. The questions difficulty should be adjusted to fit within the given time frame.

Ideas for Activity Evaluation and Teacher Reflection:

How did the students like the lesson? End of semester evaluations should ask about the usefulness and learning accomplished through such activities.

Addtional questions to ask include: How was student learning verified? Were followup questions asked to verify retention of information following quizzing?

Quizzing Software: In random order

 

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