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Published January 23, 2017 | Multidisciplinary

AddICTive Tools for Evaluation: Online Quizzes

Do red pens give you a headache? Does correcting formative tests for acquired knowledge make you dizzy? Are you looking for ways to save time…or trees? Do you want to be more efficient? Are you dreaming of pedagogically-viable strategies and techniques? Are you looking for change?

Evaluation plays a significant role in the teaching profession. Among the various facets of this important responsibility, feedback presents many challenges, and correction is sometimes considered an onerous burden or at least a less-than-inspiring task. Luckily, there is a whole array of digital methods and tools that can become your allies!

In this fourth part of our series of articles that accompany our In-depth Report on Evaluation and Digital Feedback, we present digital tools for online quizzes.

Online Quizzes

Objectives

➤ Save correction time
➤ Make students accountable and give them independence
➤ Use non-class time for evaluation and review activities
➤ Offer automatic feedback
➤ Facilitate personal follow-up

Computerized quizzes have been used for many years and they are now garnering growing interest. Beyond their pedagogical benefits, their popularity is not unrelated to their clear capacity to save correction time thanks to automated correction. Some teachers plan far fewer formative evaluations than they might wish to because of the related burden of correcting and providing feedback. Online quizzes can offer some relief.

Naturally, the possible question types depend on the chosen tool. Here are some types of questions that can be asked in online quizzes:

  • Yes or No, True or False
  • Multiple choice, Multiple answers
  • Short answer
  • Numeric answer
  • Essay, composition
  • Fill-in-the-blanks
  • Matching or associations
  • Ordering or classification

With some tools, it is even possible to mark up texts or images, slide and drop objects and generate calculated questions so the problem data are different for each student. The operations and settings also differ based on the tool.

Some tools are highly evolved. For example, the Moodle test platform offers the following settings:

  • Test availability period
  • Random order of answer choices
  • Random order of questions
  • Random choice of a certain number of questions from a bank of equivalent options
  • Number of authorized attempts
  • Access to results, access to answers, customized feedback
  • Timing
  • Access conditions
  • And more...

Although online questionnaires are mainly used for formative evaluation, some tools offer excellent solutions for summative evaluations. It is highly recommended, however, to use these only under ideal conditions :

  • The teacher must be very comfortable with the chosen tool, due to the impact that may be caused by a bad experience.
  • It is essential to ascertain the reliability and performance of the equipment and internet network.
  • It is preferable to do similar formative evaluations with the students so they become familiar with the chosen environment, to reduce their anxiety and potential problems.

Interesting factoid: Some educational publishing houses offer Moodle-compatible quizzes (e.g., ERPI).

The topic of online quizzes naturally leads to the topic of clickers, since questions designed specifically for formative or summative online quizzes also lend themselves to large-group moderation using clickers. Online quizzes are beneficial in inverted classroom strategies.

Some tools are specifically designed to create individual tests, but others designed mainly for surveys offer functions that let you assign a correct answer to the question and a score to the respondent.

There is an obvious affinity between online quizzes and formative (and sometimes summative) evaluation. The References by topic section in the In-depth Report offers some excellent additional resources for tapping this potential.

Examples of tools

Online Quizzes
Advantages Disadvantages
Reduced correction time (automated or semi-automated correction) Significant quiz preparation time, especially at the beginning
Construction of a bank of questions over time and possible collaboration with colleagues Precautions to take for summative evaluations (Plan B recommended)
Subsequent reuse of quizzes (return on time invested) Requires the use of a work station, unlike a paper quiz
Greater use of quizzes
Well-suited for formative knowledge tests
Feedback is more effective for teacher and faster for student
Facilitates individual monitoring for the teacher
Makes it easier to provide differentiation and individual support
Multiple quiz settings and parameters
Enhances student accountability and thoroughness (self-correction, proportion of exercises completed, meeting deadlines)
Freedom of place and time

We invite you to visit our other articles in the AddICTive Tools for Evaluation series:

Click on the link to to return to the landing page for our In-Depth Report on Correction, Feedback and Evaluation: Inspiring Practices and AddICTive Tools.

Are you inspired by these possibilities? Share your discoveries with your colleagues using the Share function! If you are already using technology to support your evaluation tasks, please share your experiences with other Profweb readers in the Comments section below.

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