|In the past, OpenStax College has hosted practice quizzes through Learningpod. Unfortunately, the future of this support is uncertain. Wikiversity should fill the gap by hosting quizzes for OpenStax textbooks.|
- 1 What is Quizbank?
- 2 How can I see the exam questions?
- 3 Isn't it insane to let everybody see the testbank?
- 4 Advice for professional exam bank designers
- 5 The cat and mouse game
- 6 External links, references, and subpages
Courses currently using quizbank:
- Phy1120 Trig-based Physics I
- Phy1050 How Things Work (conceptual physics)
- Phy2410 Caclulus-based Physics II
What is Quizbank?
Quizbank is an effort to create an open source "bank" of exam questions that can be coauthored by instructors and students, and used by instructors in grade assessment.
The word "Quizbank" was chosen because a Google search reveals that testbank has another meanings related to software development, and because assessment bank has too many syllables. A new word was chosen because this will be an open source testbank: When made large enough, it will be useful for grade assessment. By making the questions available to all, we avoid the cost and futility of keeping the questions concealed from students. And we create a resource that can accept contributions from students.
But the biggest benefit of Quizbank will be facilitate the use of flipped classrooms. In the future, instructors will be able to select a collection of quizzes for students to study before the first class meeting. A collection of open-source test questions will give students a specific assignment that they must pass before the actual instruction begins. In an enlightned educational system, it is understood that both tutoring, as well as alternative assessment will be given to students who are underprepared, or suffer from test anxiety or have other special needs. For students who are too creative to thrive in a multiple-choice environment, alternative assessments might involve preparing study materials or developing new questions for the bank. But since the majority of students do not need such extra attention, Quizbank should allow us to drastically reduce the cost of higher education.
It costs $91 to take an AP exam, but the real cost of exams is not the fee, but the cottage industry of schools and professors creating exams and preparing students to take those exams. The internet offers every person on this planet the opportunity to master many subjects at no cost. Now we need a way for people to demonstrate mastery at little or no cost. Student debt has recently surpassed credit card debt in the USA. While an opensource quiz (assessment) bank will never offer degrees in higher education, it might reduce the cost of that degree. It will allow professors to ensure that students have solved a few basic physics problems or learned some fundamental facts about Astronomy, before attempting to learn the subtleties of the topic. The answers and problem solutions are freely available, so that students can learn these basics as virtually zero cost, and with little or no help from the instructional institution.
- See also OpenStax College, especially #Sometimes_less_is_more
- It appears to be possible for students to be assigned projects in which they create new exam questions on a private wiki farm
How can I see the exam questions?
- Quizbank/List of quizzes for a list of all quizzes.
- Study guide:
Do you have any sample exams?
This collection of tests closely resembles those taken in a first semester calculus based physics course. The students would use this study guide, from which a random collection of questions is taken. A sample of four midterms and a cumulative final is shown below:
In pdf form
Typically a Wikiversity pdf file is opened by clicking the image and looking down for the bold faced Original file above the Summary. In the gallery shown below, it should be possible to just click "download".
Recently all five exams in two versions were combined into on very long document. This permits the instructor to print out a single but lengthy document as the course begins. Before each exam, the appropriate pages are printed out for the students (in two versions).
Isn't it insane to let everybody see the testbank?
The cat is out of the bag. Students can already download testbanks for a fee of typically $50
Those involved in the construction of an open source quizbank will tend to uses these subpages of Quizbank:
Advice for professional exam bank designers
A bank of exam and quiz questions should be designed to make the instructor's job easier. I suggest that many of the features of this Quizbank be incorporated into any future effort to develop a platform for banks of exam/quiz questions.
Also, I am not certain that a platform with the desired features does not already exist. What follows is based on an investigation of known platforms performed over a few days using Google:
Quizbank classification scheme (under construction)
The cat and mouse game
Student debt has recently surpassed credit card debt in the USA. An open source quizbank on Wikiversity might help reduce the cost of higher education, especially in the first two years of college. Instructors and textbook publishers are playing an expensive cat-and-mouse game with students regarding homework problems and exams. It requires a great deal of time and money to be constantly inventing new exam and homework problems that become obsolete as the "secrets" become common knowledge.
Virtually all the knowledge associated with most college major degrees is available on the internet, and in many cases on Wikipedia itself. If Google can drive a car it should be possible to produce software that can perform much of the routine testing of student competence. The associated reduction in the cost of higher education could be dramatic. Or, perhaps society will choose instead to use the savings to increase the quality of a college education by focusing on aspects of education not found in the traditional textbooks and test banks. Either way, the reform can begin with an open source method by which students can demonstrate expertise in certain mechanical aspects of the college degree.
Sometimes less is moreopen source quizbank that will initially differ sharply from the testbanks commonly distributed with commercial textbooks. Commercial testbanks are huge, and designed to be edited by the user. The software required to manage a "large" opensource data base would take more resources than appear to be available at the moment. Although it is out of necessity that Wikiversity can only offer small and uneditable quizbanks, there are advantages to being "small": The instructor knows exactly what the students are studying, and the students know exactly what to study. And, the instructor will not be asked to spend valuable time learning how to manage the testbank or choosing which questions should be put on tests.
A "small" product can exist as a self-contained component that represents only a portion of the course and grade assessment. This frees the instructor's time to focus on higher level learning. The inflexibility in adjusting Wikiversity testbanks forces Wikiversity to play a larger role in course management than would otherwise be the case. Fortunately, with the help of posted solutions and explanations, the mastery of this material can be done entirely online, with little or no coaching from the instructor.
User:Guy vandegrift's tentative summer plans