In an e-learning environment, judging a course participant’s grasp of the concepts presented almost exclusively relies on quizzes. Without live classroom participation on a consistent basis, quizzes are often the sole indicator of a student’s progress.
We’ve put a great deal of effort into developing powerful quiz functionality for WP Courseware with a few key aspects of quiz delivery driving our feature selections.
In this article, we’ll discuss five key areas of focus when creating your online courses.
1. Focus questions to reinforce key concepts
This may seem obvious, but it’s very easy for course instructors to create a large quantity of questions for a quiz. What isn’t as easy is ensuring that the questions which you’re creating are focused on gauging a student’s progress according to what they need to take from the content. Identifying key concepts within specific course units or modules can help guide you in your question creation to ensure your quizzes are effective.
2. Phrase questions in a manner which aligns with the course content
This isn’t to say that you need your questions to be phrased precisely according to the content within your course, but you want the question to be a guide to your students in order to recall the concepts they’ve learned. Confusing or ambiguous phrasing doesn’t help in reinforcing key concepts. It’s not difficult to find creative ways to rephrase course concepts without sending a student directly to the answer.
3. Choose appropriate question types based on concepts
We have an incredible customer community and we receive dozens of feature requests each week. Many of these revolve around enhancing a specific question type with additional options. The point is that each of our customers has a unique base of content which they deliver and some question types are suited better than others for that content.
We have many clients teaching very technical content, which requires multiple choice or true/false questioning. We also have clients teaching content which requires more flexibility in providing scoring or feedback, and in these cases perhaps essay style questions or file uploads are more appropriate.
4. Weight the quantity of questions by content area
We’ve very often found that there are cases in which a quiz needs to provide assessment across multiple topics, but some of those are not as key as others. Finding the right mix of questions across key content areas is critical, especially when quiz scoring is weighted according to this mix.
5. Deliver feedback which indicates strengths and weaknesses
One of the most important updates we’ve recently made to WP Courseware was the addition of custom feedback messages. These messages allow you to select a score for a content area (or questions tags) and provide one message for students who scored above a specific level for that content and another message for students below that level. This can automate feedback for large scale courses.
However, no matter the size of your course, having the ability to provide feedback based on specific content areas is crucial. This allows your students to spend their time more efficiently, studying micro areas of past content while moving forward with new content.
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