This past semester, I had my students create quizzes using Microsoft Forms which they then shared with their classmates. These quizzes were based on material we had covered in previous classes and was meant as a chance for them to review what they have learned. For me, it was an opportunity to check and see what students understood about the content of what we had been studying. While I did look at the results of those quizzes (informally), it was the quizzes themselves which gave me the most information. Just to be clear, I didn’t use this as a formal assessment, but was meant more as a formative assessment tool which I could use to help me help guide individuals and the class as a whole.
I used Microsoft Forms since our students have institutional access to Office 365. I could have just as easily used another tool such as Google Forms or many other polling/quiz/survey tools. For the sake of this post, I am going to demonstrate what I did using Free Online Surveys, a fairly powerful survey and quiz tool that students can use for free without having to use their personal email (more information about that below).
In summary, here is what happened in class:
- I give my students the parameters of the activity including what material we are reviewing and written, step-by-step instructions on creating and sharing their quiz.
- Students work in pairs to write up their questions and create the online quiz.
- Students then post the link to their quiz on a shared document.
- Once all pairs are done, each student then completes the quizzes assigned to them.
- If students think their are errors or problems with any of the questions, they can then make comments on the shared document.
- Once all of the students have completed the quizzes assigned to them, the pairs get back together to review the results of their quiz. They need to make a copy of the questions and the results [Note: in some situations, you can download these as a spreadsheet, but in some circumstances you may need to make a screenshot or copy and paste the results to a new document].
- Pairs can then make any revisions to their quiz based on the comments other students have made and what they have learned from the answers. In some situations, students have noticed that their question was misunderstood based on the answers the other students have given.
- Once they are done, I complete all of the quizzes and give my comments directly to each pairing (i.e. not on the same shared document).
So, what benefits do my students get from it?
- Students review previously studied material.
- It is a formative assessment tool for me to see what students understand about what they have been learning and to see how they are doing with question forms, vocabulary, etc.
- By working in pairs, students need to discuss what they have been learning, supporting one another to complete the task.
- By having them give peer-comments on the quizzes, students are having to process and communicate what they feel needs to change.
- Students are learning an effective webtool that can be used in future classes and not just in language learning [Note: I have my EAP students create surveys using the same tool to collect information for their essays from their peers and from others in the college].
Here is an example:
- This was from a pair of students in the IELTS 4 range (permission to share was given).
- The subject we had been reviewing was on money and finance.
- In previous classes we had been working on conditionals and future tenses. We also learned words and phrases related to budgeting.
- This is the quiz before I added my comments.
- One thing that this group didn’t do from the instructions was to use three different types of questions. Instead, they chose to only use text based answers.
Instead of putting in the step-by-step instructions on this page, I created a separate page that you can share with your students to follow to create a simple quiz using Free Online Surveys. Feel free to copy the page and make changes to it for your class.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments!