Quizzes For The Virtual Classroom – Part 1

As an online tutor you already know that maintaining interest is a critical factor in the virtual classroom. You have to keep things interesting regardless of the subject, the assessments, or the online students. Interest is the key to attention and is a huge benefit to the learning process. One popular activity in the virtual classroom that increases interest is the quiz.

Benefits of quizzes in the virtual classroom

One way to add extra value to your course content is to create quizzes. As part of the assessment arsenal, quizzes don’t have a good reputation, as do all of the other examination methods. However, quizzes are a crucial part of the educational routine. Surprisingly, researchers have found that some of the most popular learning strategies – underlining, taking notes, or reading – actually don’t work. Unlike quizzes, they don’t require the students to practice accessing or applying what they know. Here are some benefits:

  • Quizzes help students stay engaged
  • Quizzes are a perfect way to retrieve all that they have learned
  • Quizzes help online students gain and store knowledge. When you test your students, it forces them to actually retrieve knowledge from memory. There are a lot of extra educational activities that aim to help online students gain and store knowledge. But it is the various testing styles that upgrade the skill of retrieving and using the gained knowledge.

Types of questions in the virtual classroom

Quizzes are a set of questions that online students try to answer correctly, usually within a pre-set time. In education, it is used to measure growth in knowledge, abilities, or skills. Since there are different types of quiz questions, it’s good to vary them. Additionally, make sure you have a strong scoring algorithm. Here are some of the different types of quiz questions:

Multiple Choice

These types of quiz questions are among the most effective ways to test learners on online course content. Each question has several possible answers and only one is correct. The other answers are called “distractors.” Although it sounds easy to pass a quiz like this, keep in mind that the difficulty level can be varied. So if you are not careful enough or don’t have the necessary knowledge to eliminate the distractors, you can quickly fail. Thus, the successful online student has to use their deductive thinking more than their actual knowledge. One tip for online tutors is to create clear and straightforward questions.

Yes or No

One of the easiest ways to frame questions is in a yes or no format. This technique involves asking a question to which the learner answers either yes or no. These types of questions aim to test the general knowledge level of an online student. Since there is a chance that a student may just guess at an answer, try to ask the same question several times but in different ways. Thus you will be able to tell if the student chose the correct answer simply by luck or because they knew the material.

Open-Ended

Open-ended questions are especially useful if you want to measure the creative thinking skills of the students when faced with a problem without a fixed solution. Additionally, this type of question is useful if you want to know the train of thought of your online students about a certain topic. In order to receive meaningful answers, it is important to be very clear about what you’re asking.

Fill in the Blank

This is another popular technique that is also called completion questions. This type of question requires knowledge of the subject matter since there are no hints and only one correct answer. This type of question is often used in foreign language subjects, for example. It is a very good way to force students to retrieve knowledge since they have to connect the dots of what they’ve learned in a meaningful way. This approach is extremely useful when an exact phrase is crucial.

Matching

Matching, like fill-in-the-blank questions, gives learners a little more to go on. Therefore, it is a good approach if you want to give your audience enough time to absorb the material. In the questioning scheme the online tutor provides several concepts together with words or phrases. The successful learner must match them accordingly.

Definitions

There are different ways to create definition questions. One is the matching format that we explained above. The other leaves a blank that the online students have to fill in themselves. Since this type of quiz is focused on the deeper knowledge of the students, it is better to use it with advanced e-learners or at the end of an entire course.

Online tutoring techniques while implementing quizzes

Make every quiz interesting by using different types of questions. Giving your students quizzes is a great way to examine the understanding of your audience, and it also helps you plan what you should repeat and pay attention to in the virtual classroom. This practice is important and extremely useful for online students who will soon be facing more advanced tests at a higher level. Combine different types of questions in one quiz. Whatever the preferred type, vary them often. Another option is to give your online students daily or weekly quizzes that are focused on only one type of question. Thus, you will master the pattern and prepare them for a complex quiz with mixed questions.

Collaborate successfully and enjoy the process

When quizzes are a common virtual classroom practice, they create an opportunity for collaboration. Specifically, you can provide your students with collaborative quizzes. They encourage the more advanced students to help those who may still be struggling with the material. But working on group quizzes doesn’t mean that personal evaluation is lacking. Make this process a pleasant activity and reward achievement.

Create a relevant scoring system

During the process of quiz creation you will notice that some types of questions are more difficult than others. Ideally, you will match your quizzes with particular learning goals. Therefore, create a strong and logical pattern for evaluation. It’s good for your students to receive accurate feedback. Take time and create your scoring system accordingly. For example, complex open-ended questions should be worth more points than simple multiple-choice questions.

Look back for feedback

Quizzes can involve a lot more than just the grades that students achieve. The best way is to use the quiz as the starting point for a discussion. Therefore, provide and require feedback. Every detail is a critical part of an instructor’s teaching techniques. Furthermore, when a teacher provides feedback right away, a student is more likely to remember it. Luckily, online quizzes make the needed feedback flow smoother.

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Tanya Ilieva has strong experience in journalism, advertising, creative copywriting and digital marketing. She has a PhD in Graphic design from Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication in Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. Some of her creative works in advertising has been rewarded both in Bulgaria and abroad. Her fields of interest include: philosophy of language, semiotics, visual metaphors, linguistic.
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