Engaging students in authoring quizzes

It can be frustrating when students choose not to take advantage of learning support resources. The other day an instructor was concerned that some of the students in her blended class chose not to complete the online quizzes. These practice assessments offer students an opportunity to self-assess their knowledge of the content.  She tried offering a few extra points to encourage students to use the quizzes. However, several students have still opted out and she feels they are risking the chance at improving their exam scores at the cost of just a few extra minutes.

I suggested she considered having the students create their own quiz questions. Student-authored assessments can enhance recall and a deeper understanding of the material. This is an activity that can be applied for both face-to-face and online. Students create challenging questions for their peers – a great 2 or 3 person group activity that only takes a few minutes to do. Have the students share their questions with their peers, who then review and evaluate…  too hard / too easy / misleading / great question!

One tool specifically designed for this purpose is Respondus StudyMate. What I also like about Studymate is the ability to import question sets into Blackboard and then develop games along the lines of Jeopardy, hangman, crossword puzzles – as well as flashcards and glossaries. Students will often play a game over and over again, whereas they otherwise may ignore a quiz using the same question sets.

It occurred to me this is something that could also be accomplished using Google Docs. Students can use forms to develop the questions – the answers can then be displayed using an answer key at the end of the quiz. While it may not be as sophisticated as StudyMate, Google Docs is easy enough to use, supports collaborative authoring, and its free.

an example….

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