Monday, May 20, 2013

The Student Quiz

English: An English quiz in Chu Jen Junior Hig...
English quiz in Taichung City, Taiwan (Wikipedia)
by Richard D Boyce

Early in my teaching career, I was always looking for something different to stimulate student learning.

I found the simple quiz was a great diversion for the students from the normal chalk and talk lesson of that era.

Therefore, I created a series of different quizzes that I used in a variety of subjects that I taught in lower high school classes.

This is one of those quizzes. It is called the Student's Quiz and I have included the two versions I have used.

Essentially, the individual student or groups of students develop the questions and become the quizmaster.

Here is the procedure for the two versions.

Version One

1. Select a topic. This may be one you have just taught or it could be one which needs revision.
2. As homework, the students are instructed to devise five questions each (with answers). These are to be written out neatly.
3. During the next lesson, the teacher asks a student for his/her questions, checks them and the answers and if they are satisfactory, the teacher asks the student to give the class his/her test.
4. Ensure that the student delivers the questions in a way that the class can hear and understand. Check volume and speed of delivery and that there is enough time between each question to allow the students to write their answers.
5. The student gives and explains the answer.
6. The teacher adds any teaching comments and/or supports and/or corrects the answer given by the student.
7. The process is repeated as often as the teacher wants in the time available.
8. The teacher must check the questions of the next student to ensure that no question is repeated and that all questions are suitable.
9. To ensure that every student get a chance to ask a question during the one lesson, I sometimes allowed each student to select only one of their questions to give to the class.

Version Two
  1. Divide your class into groups of four or five.
  2. Each group is given a different topic, e.g. Topics for the forthcoming exam.
  3. Each member of the group devises five questions of varying difficulty on the topic as a homework exercise. Answers must be included.
  4. In class the next day, each group test the questions on each other and then develop a five question quiz on their topic - the questions from easy to hard with answers included (all group members get a copy of their group's quiz).
  5. The teacher rearranges the whole class into the same number of groups but this time each new group consists of one person with questions from each of the previous groups.
  6. Each member of the new group 'quizzes' their new group with their questions. This process may take more than one lesson but would allow the revision of several topics.
  7. The teacher needs to roam the classroom, keeping the students on task and clearing up any problems.
  8. The teacher is given a copy of each group's questions.
A special note

Students invariably ask questions which are harder than those of the teacher so it is important to instruct the students to write five questions which vary from easy to hard.

Outcomes that can occur
  1. Better understanding is created by:
    1. individual question creation and
    2. group discussion of the best questions and the correct answers.
  • Students have ownership of the questions.
  • Several topics can be covered.
  • Students get experience in oral work and in explaining their Maths or Science and so on.
  • Students gain more confidence in their various subjects.
  • Students want to have the 'best' or 'trickiest' questions. This is a great motivation for many students.
  • The group acts as the 'correction mechanism' for errors in question technique, understanding of the students' learning and the answers.
  • Students enjoy their learning.
  • The teacher may gain a valuable reservoir of questions and answers.
  • The questions asked are often ones which students feel they need or want to know - almost a self-diagnosis.

  • This article explains one of a series of different types of quizzes that our author has used to great effect during his career in high school classrooms. In his early career, he taught several subjects to junior high school classes where he learnt the art of using the quiz as a revision tool and as an introduction to a new topic where he reviewed past knowledge.

    You will find two eBooks on his website explaining his use of his different types of quizzes. The titles are, "The Quiz in Middle School Mathematics" and "The Quiz as a Teaching Strategy".

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