quiz on Friday!

Yes, it’s Friday and we’re ready to take a quiz. If you haven’t studied the Elements of Anglo-Saxon poetry, you’d better cram now.

In a post from last week, Infinite variations on a form, I introduced the concept of using Google’s form application to produce online quizzes. That particular quiz was set up to accept textual responses, all of which were accumulated in a spreadsheet. The purpose of a quiz like this, I suggested, is to see how well your students understand the material from a previous lecture. What makes this online method of testing so appealing to me is that in a quick glance–as opposed to shuffling through dozens of papers–I can determine comprehension, and adjust my lessons accordingly.

Today’s quiz on The Elements of Anglo-Saxon poetry is multiple-choice, one of the form-types Google has built into the application. Here’s the link to the spreadsheet that has already collected answers from my ‘students.’Your understanding of how these forms work is greatly enhanced if you actually take the quiz yourself. Even if you don’t take it, check it out. You’ll see that the first ‘question’ asks for either a student’s name or his or her i.d. number. My thinking is that there may be great benefit to making the the results of this quiz public, so that students can compare their responses to other students’ answers. If they don’t want their names displayed, they can enter their i.d. numbers.

If you set it up so that the results are immediately available, your students will get immediate feedback. You’ll need to follow the instructions to make the response-spreadsheet public, and provide that link to your students. There is great value in immediate feedback and seeing how their responses stack up to those of other students. If you, the teacher, take the quiz first, the correct answers will appear on the first line of the spreadsheet. Even before the quiz is graded, students can see how many responses they got right.

You have the option to keep the spreadsheet private until all the quizzes have been taken and the responses accumulated. You can enter the raw scores into the next column and apply a spreadsheet formula to enter percentage grades, and at that point make the quiz results public for your students.

Of course we all know that effective teaching is interactive, a two-way communicative boulevard between teacher and student. Google’s forms application is merely a tool to facilitate interactivity, still in its earliest developmental stages, but which is already stirring those infinitely creative juices in the teacher-in-me.

Find more information at the Official Google Docs blog.

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