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Kieran Lim - School of Life and Environmental Sciences
It is important for students to receive feedback on their learning as they progress during a unit. This is particularly important in Chemistry, which requires students to move between different levels of conceptual understanding: the macroscopic or observable world; the understanding in terms of too-small-to-be-seen atoms and molecules; and the symbolic representation of those two levels.
Self-paced formative assessment in the form of online quizzes is one method of providing the desired feedback on students' learning. The opportunity for students to have multiple attempts embeds mastery learning principles. The quizzes, within DSO (Blackboard Vista), use a combination of numerical calculations, multiple choice, short answer, matching, fill in the blank, and jumbled sentence questions. HTML coding enables images to be included in the questions, or for additional data and information windows to open to help students.
|Sample quiz question 1(click link to enlarge picture)||Sample quiz question 2(click link to enlarge picture)|
Students are rewarded by a small contribution towards the overall unit mark if they attempt a quiz within three weeks of the relevant topic first being presented in class. They may maximise their mark by having up to three attempts within the three-week period. After the three-week period, students can still use the quiz for revision and self-assessment, but they receive no marks for those attempts. Since the quizzes draw from a large question bank of several thousand questions, students will continue to encounter 'fresh' questions in each quiz, even after five or six attempts. Over the several quizzes, which revise the entire unit's content, students can gain up to 25% of the overall unit mark.
Note: For information on how to use Blackboard assessments, see Creating assessments in Blackboard.
Can you suggest another exemplar of online teaching at Deakin? Comments will be forwarded to the Institute of Teaching and Learning.