Because students dislike tests, you may be tempted to eliminate them from your online course—but don’t be deceived! It’s been demonstrated that retrieving information leads to long-term and meaningful learning by helping pupils recall and apply what they’ve learned.
Studies have revealed that testing has a powerful positive effect not just on assessing learning but on improving long–term retention.
If you test your student’s knowledge and they recollect it well, they will retain it better in the future than if they were not tested1. The “testing effect” or “retrieval practice effect” is used to describe this phenomenon.
In this article, I’ll share a variety of methods and strategies for using quizzes to assist students in achieving tremendous success:
Pre-test your students
Pre-testing your students will indicate where everyone’s initial comprehension of the course material rests, allowing you to determine the knowledge and skills they learned AFTER the course. However, your students will benefit from this because they will be able to identify their knowledge gaps BEFORE beginning your course.
A pre-test will also convince your pupils that they need to take your course. As a result, don’t be scared to make your pre-test challenging.
Your test will teach students WHY they need you in the first place, even if they don’t get a perfect score. Make students aware of their knowledge gaps at this time. Then, explain why it’s critical to close those gaps and what will happen if you don’t. Demonstrate what students will be able to accomplish by the end of the course. Describe the talents they will master and the new skills and knowledge they will gain. As a result, your course completion and satisfaction rates will skyrocket.
Quiz Early, Quiz Often
The days of simply dropping a question at the end of a course are long gone. Today, you should quiz your students at the end of each module/lesson to hold their attention and urge them to continue with the course.
Also, don’t limit yourself to multiple-choice questions. There’s no limit to what you can achieve! Depending on the topic or your personal preference, you can make your questions open-ended or game-like.
Within a module, posing a question or two will help to reinforce the information taught. Questions also generate “stakes,” motivating your kids to sit down and actively participate in each class rather than passively watching it play out in the background.
A fun and interactive quiz now and then will also assist in creating a more authentic classroom setting, something many online courses unfortunately lack.
A quick knowledge check at the end of each module will allow your pupils to assess their understanding of the content in real-time and clear up any misconceptions. A low score, for example, will indicate to pupils that they should reread your lesson to better understand the current and future topics. Continue to the next point to learn more about this.
Offer Immediate Feedback
Your pre-test and lesson reviews will be ineffective if you don’t provide feedback. Students will be able to learn from (and hopefully amend) their mistakes if they are given the proper answer to questions. This will help with retention, but it will also clear up any misunderstandings.
Giving your pupils an explanation for why a specific response is correct or incorrect can help them stay focused throughout the course. Testing becomes an additional learning opportunity for your pupils when you provide detailed feedback.
Take advantage of the power of instant feedback! Giving pupils immediate feedback on what they got right or wrong allows them to correct their thinking as soon as feasible. It will also encourage your students to evaluate and fill in any gaps in their knowledge.
Remember that your online course is taking place on the Internet, where students can be distracted by many websites. You’ll be able to keep your students on track with immediate feedback before their attention is diverted elsewhere.
Create Results That Drive Action
To ensure student learning and outcomes, your quiz or evaluation results should motivate your pupils to take action.
For example, if a student does poorly on a quiz, you’ll want their results to motivate them to review lessons or consult extra resources on the course topic. Even if a student does well, having results that motivate kids to learn more is advantageous.
Allow students to contribute their quiz/assessment outcomes as well. High-achieving pupils are likely to be proud of their achievements. As a result, they’ll want other kids to take notice of their accomplishments. Sharing results validate students and motivate underperforming students to take action. Students who may have performed poorly on the evaluation in the past will be inspired to study harder in the future.
Here are some tips for creating effective quizzes for your online courses:
Make the results positive
Have a clear call-to-action (describe what they should keep doing or do differently)
Make helpful recommendations based on their answers (don’t just say “Congratulations!” Or “Wrong answer!”)
Make sure to include a high-quality image on the results page
I’ve seen those students taking online courses suffer from a lack of desire. I’ve been using many strategies to provide extrinsic motivation: Gamification to improve engagement.
Instant feedback and earning badges for completing challenges can make quizzes a far more enjoyable experience for students by giving them something to strive for.
Be inventive! Make your multiple-choice or open-ended evaluations more enjoyable to complete. A point system and a public leader board can also be used to establish a friendly competition. Tests are less stressful with Gamification, which can boost member confidence. It turns everything into a game, after all!
Offering a reward for good user behavior allows students to track and display their progress while also motivating them to stay engaged throughout the course.
One of the most popular e-learning systems, even Khan Academy, has fully embraced Gamification by rewarding students with points and badges for completing videos and assessments. I encourage that you follow suit by awarding badges to students who complete lessons, post in forums, and perform well on tests, among other things.
Furthermore, it is critical to building value around your badge. Use badges as a tool for students to demonstrate skill mastery, progress, or rank to ensure that your badges have meaning.
Finally, always analyze student results.
Examine your students’ results to make your course more effective. You will become a better instructor if you evaluate your pupils since it will provide concrete feedback on how responsive they are to your content.
Students who are in danger of falling behind or churning can also be identified through assessments. You’ll be able to reach out or take corrective action due to this.
Furthermore, suppose ALL of your students perform poorly in a particular lesson. This could mean one of two things: your pupils have difficulty following your instructions, or the lesson concepts are challenging to grasp.
You’ll want to correct them for obvious reasons.
Implementing approaches for student evaluation, from “pre-tests” to Gamification, is beneficial to both educators and students. Your primary goal as a course builder is to create outcomes for your students. They must learn from your training and implement what they’ve learned in their daily lives.
I guarantee that if you follow these six assessment creation strategies, you’ll be well on your way to improving student achievement.