Activities, assignments and assessment/Quizzes that promote engagement

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Quizzes that promote engagement. Yossi Rathner. Copy on Youtube.
Slides accompanying assessment conference presentation on using quizzes as a means to increase student engagement in science subjects at university. See,_assignments_and_assessment

Janelle Page, Di Hughes, Nivan Weerakkody, Terri Meehan-Andrews, Yossi Rathner's presentation for AAAOpenConf2013

As part of a subject redesign in first year first semester physiology taught to allied health students, weekly pre-workshop quizzes, as homework activity, were introduced. These test were intended to encourage students to attend class prepared to engages in active, team based learning tasks of the workshops. In 2012 these test were written by faculty and delivered to students via LMS. In 2013, licence to proprietary software was purchased, and quizzes were delivered to students via this package. Survey of students in both 2012 and 2013 both demonstrated that students found the pre-workshop quizzes were effective tools for motivating students to “stay up to date” with the subject content, and prepare for their workshops. Data from each year demonstrate that students did not find the weekly quizzes onerous or time wasting. Persistent criticism from students in 2013 of the proprietary software was a perceived disconnect between the quiz questions and the material taught in class (lectures or workshop activities), despite the alignment of the questions to published learning objectives. Further, students reported that unlimited and unrestricted attempts at quiz questions were demotivating factors in the learning experience. Although no statistical difference was observed in the final marks between the two cohorts, students in 2013 performed worse on the final exam than the 2012 students, indicating weaker mastery of subject content.

Notes[edit | edit source]

CFY subject Human Biosciences A - redefined the subject after high failure rates. Key factor is 'Science anxiety' - preconceived ideas by students before they enter classroom. Pre-workshop quizzes set in place - students preparing before class. Didn't want to overburden students so preclass exercise wasn't onerous. LRHS survey of students to seek input as to effectiveness of changes and use of quizzes.

Explained to students the Student workload policy in 1st lecture. 45 minute on-line quiz each week for students to do - explained to students in 1st lecture. By week 3 students seeing quiz as a useful study guide. Two surveys conducted this year and last year. Surveyed across all rural campuses (except one). In 2013 captured 30% of students with paper based survey. On line survey too - a further 16% students responded. In 2012 15% of students captured.

Responses - students didn't want to give up lectures; they really like workshops; quizzes help students to keep up to date with studies / a useful study tool; helpful to review topic material. Students didn't find quizzes onerous. Software used visually engaging.

Drawbacks - quizzes tied closely to textbook - not lecture material. Having unlimited attempts at quiz was a disincentive to learn (student feedback). Will change this for 2014.

Managing workload expectations by explicating Workload policy.

Using Quiz as a structural guide; students using as a study guide.

Student identified that it assisted in how they learned.

Meta cognition in understanding different learning resources and contexts and how to consolidate learning.

Lecture the most important part of learning - survey result.

Be explicit about constructive alignment and how learning objectives link to learning and assessment.


Settings: Will change quiz from unlimited attempts, to having to pass with 2 or 3 attempts ... because too much guessing in the end

Change in assessment scheme in 2013 - students knew they had passed so results dropped in second part of semester; engaged and stimulated and not overwhelmed as in past.

Q: Quizzes in Moodle (2012) in Mastering A&P (2013) - higher engagement, multi-media, longer and harder, feedback.

Y: Students found quizzes valuable; have to be compulsory for them to do them.

Q: Lectures preferred but students did not attend.

Y: Assumed students viewing through lectopia/ Echo 360. Students on campus as against those who do not come in twice. Students find it reinforcing - "they expect to be taught".

Q: How were quizzes used in 2012 - 2013?

Y: Optional in 2012 ; In 2013 the quiz had to be completed before coming to the workshop.

Q: How can students revise physiology for year 2 Paramedicine at Bendigo?

Y: It can be tailored for specific purposes. Each student has two year access to Mastering A&P.