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Call for Contributions: Examining the Quiz

Call for Contributions: Examining the Quiz

Our readers have a wealth of instructional experience, and we love to share it. To that end, we’re building a collection on quizzes—ideas and information about them as well as experiences with them. Faculty use quizzes to achieve a variety of different outcomes. Here are some queries to prompt your thinking. Please share so that others can learn from your experiences.

The purpose of quizzes

  • What purpose(s) do you use quizzes to accomplish?
  • Do quizzes achieve some goals better than others?
  • What would students see as the purpose of your quizzes?
  • What evidence do you have that quizzes accomplish your intended goals?

Quiz logistics (the nuts and bolts)

  • What quizzing practices have you found to be most successful?
  • How do you handle missed quizzes?
  • Are there quizzing practices that you’d recommend avoiding?
  • What kinds of quiz questions do you use and why? Are your quiz questions harder, easier, or the same difficulty as your exam questions?
  • How many quizzes do you give in relation to the number of exams in the course?
  • Are your quizzes announced or unannounced and why?
  • Do you quiz students on material not yet covered in class or in the text, or do you quiz on material only after covering it? What’s the rationale for the timing of quizzes?
  • Do quizzes count toward student’s grades? If so, how much, and how did you arrive at that amount?

Online, in class, or something else

  • What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages of online and in-class quizzes?
  • What about take-home, open-book, or collaborative quizzing strategies?

Quiz designs that deal with learning issues

  • Can quizzes be designed so that they help students deal with exam anxiety? What quiz features reduce anxiety?
  • What characteristics of quizzes help students master challenging content?
  • Can quizzes be designed to improve performance on cumulative exams and finals?

Distinctive features of quizzes

  • Can students be involved in correcting and grading quizzes?
  • Can they write potential quiz questions?
  • Can you think of any other unusual or noteworthy features of quizzes?

What else?

  • Have you read or heard about any other interesting approaches to quizzes?
  • Are there research findings that influenced your use of quizzes? Noteworthy results that others should know about?

Be welcome to answer one, several, or all of the questions or pose another question you think we should be asking. We’re happy with informal, emailed responses; however, please keep them to 700 words or less. If you’re interested in writing an article, please share the idea with us first (and review our general submission guidelines here). We’d like to make sure articles don’t cover the same topics.

Please send your material to Maryellen Weimer at grg@psu.edu by December 17, 2021. Thanks in advance.

Previous article series and features based on calls for submissions

The Questions Teachers Ask Students
Handouts: The Many Roles They Play in Learning
Spotlight on Extra Credit
Revisiting the Syllabus