Over the last few years I have become a big fan of low stakes, quick quizzes. They can be used in a variety of different ways and in my opinion they can be a fantastic assessment tool.
Quick quizzes do exactly what their name suggests. They are quick to write, quick to complete and quick to mark. In fact they are a worthwhile activity whether I mark them, use peer assessment or whether they mark their own.
I have also seen them help to develop independence in my students and it has enabled me to give specific and timely feedback to both students and parents. I want to create an environment where students are willing to take responsibility for their own progress, can identify their own strengths and weaknesses and then be proactive in overcoming them. I want my students not to be afraid to get something wrong and then learn from their mistakes. FAIL should stand for First Attempt In Learning.
|Name||MRS GREN (/12)||Animal Cells||Plant Cells||Bacteria||Specialised Cells||Organs||Organ Systems|
How and Why I use them:
- As surprise quizzes at the start of the lesson: this can encourage the students to pick up their books between lessons independently. I have found that students dislike getting a poor mark, so giving these on a regular basis encourages students to consolidate between lessons without having to be asked.
- To assess consolidation and prevent cheating on homework: often students cheat and copy homework, making the whole task (setting, completing and marking!) pointless. I often set revision for homework to be tested using a quick quiz.
- To assess understanding: doing regular quick quizzes enables both the students and myself to map the progress and understanding of specific lesson topics. This way it highlights for both the students and the teachers which topics require revision in the run up to exams.
- Gives parents a readymade list of questions and answers to help their child revise.
- As a data source: as a Biology teacher I also teach the students to draw graphs. They are a fantastic data source for the students to learn how to draw graphs from and the resulting graph is a fantastic visual diagnostic tool.
- To create opportunities for low stakes testing. By making these a regular part of lessons you are creating a tool where the students are not afraid to have ago and with consistent reassurance they will have a guess even if they are not sure. This will enable them to discover for themselves what they do and do not understand.