If you teach mathematics, your students have devices with internet access, and you’re NOT using ThatQuiz.org… both you and your students are seriously missing out. My love for this web-app continues to grow as I see its impact on my students, time and again. My most recent use of ThatQuiz is to take full advantage of the “duplicate” feature built in to the site, allowing pre-and-post-testing with ease.
My algebra students, for example, were learning the basics about integer exponents. We discovered patterns to justify mathematical truths about zero as an exponent and negative integer exponents, and students had traditional homework from the textbook’s practice workbook. The next day, I started class by asking students to login to ThatQuiz and take a brief quiz assessing their ability to simplify expressions containing such exponents as I took a lap around the classroom to check homework.
What’s fascinating is the real-time in-your-face (yet non-threatening) feedback ThatQuiz provides students AND me. A quick glance at a homework “worksheet” completed by who-knows-who (Mom? Dad? Sibling? Tutor?) fades to the background as real-time data truly shows what each student knows. Right now. As every student is faced with the summary screen of their own performance on the “quiz”, assumptions about each student’s present level of understanding are confirmed… or possibly interrupted. Welcome to reality!
I don’t “grade” this experience, but I’d venture to say students find it valuable, and many are thankful that it’s “not for a grade”. After all, we’re new at this. We’re practicing. We’re still learning. And this is the first round of feedback each student has received since flying solo with these exponents. It would be a shame to discourage students by putting a 50% in the grade book at this point, but seeing that 50% fuels students to seek help and ask questions that otherwise may have gone unexplored.
Fast-forward to later in the week. Though we’ve begun to discover and generalize other properties of exponents, students are still practicing and applying ways to handle zero as an exponent and negative integer exponents too. That’s when I login to ThatQuiz.org and use the “duplicate” feature to give students the same quiz from earlier this week, and call it version #2. Yes, students have already taken this very quiz, but the content isn’t something that can be easily memorized… and with mean scores in the 60% range the first time around, there’s only one direction to go…!
Students welcome the chance to try the “quiz” again, and when met with the summary screen, feel accomplished at the improvement they see. Does every student do significantly better the second time? Not necessarily, but the feedback helps students see if they’ve grown. If they haven’t, they know it, and so do I. A little-one-on-one tutorial time is due, and perhaps erasing that score and letting the student try again would pack a confidence boost, even without the “grade”. This experience provides a “safety net” before a “quiz” or “test” that *will* be graded.
Not every topic is conducive to this type of assessment, but fundamentals are great for this routine. ThatQuiz generates quizzes on lots of topics, and if the one you’re hoping to assess isn’t generated by ThatQuiz, click on the “Browse” option to see if a kindred spirit out there has already created just the quiz you need.
I’d love to hear how you’re using ThatQuiz with your students! Feel free to comment. 🙂
This post assumes you’ve already signed up for a free ThatQuiz.org teacher account, you’ve created classes, you’ve entered your students’ names and passwords, and you’ve found a creative way to share and maintain each unique class URL. Doing this initial work is WELL WORTH IT, even if you start tomorrow. Just sayin’. 😉