October 12

Exam time – review and revision strategies

That time of the year again, practical studies teachers swamped with folios to finalise assessment, teachers providing feedback on work to students, students panicking because they have left studying up until the last minute… There must be easier ways to do this! Clearly some things won’t change, as we have external assessments to prepare students for. There are ways to improve how and when we give students feedback on work, and help them to develop deeper understanding of concepts and ideas covered during coursework, without increasing our workload to the ridiculous extremes that seem to always happen at this time of year – teachers up ’til all hours marking practice tests and essays so as to get the feedback promptly returned to students, students up ’til all hours writing practice essays and exam papers, then having to wait for the teacher to mark it, and then get the feedback.

By creating self correcting quizzes, or collaborative documents students can get immediate feedback, and strengthen the depth of their knowledge and understanding of topics and concepts. Yes it can take teachers some time to prepare these, but once they are done and online, just annual tweaking will reduce the workload significantly. Alternatively you can start to flip your classroom and get your students to develop the quizzes as a learning task. Win – Win in my books, developing deeper student knowledge of core concepts being taught, reducing teacher workload AND playing games – educational of course 🙂

Where to start?

Quizstar the fantastic people who brought you Rubistar – for developing rubrics online also now provide access to free online game making. You can

With QuizStar you can:

– Manage classes and quizzes

– Attach multimedia files to questions

– Make quizzes in multiple languages

– Access from any Internet-connected computer

– Allow students to complete and review

You need to add students, or have them add themselves, and then you can create your quiz in a number of forms – Multiple choice, True/false and short answer (Short answer ones do not self correct). You can modify your quiz, and see your students results. You can make student accounts, they don’t need an email address, so this is great for the little ones, and also some of the big ones who may need some incentive, or lack access at home. You create “class groups” and add your students, really simple process to use, I created quizzes for my senior Textiles students very quickly. There are lots of other resources on the website too.

Kubbu is a simple to use online quiz creator. Quickly and easily create a Teacher account then you are able to create a range of different types of quiz including: Crossword, matching, catergorising and dynamic quizzes.

kubbu quiz typesYou then have the option of either creating student groups (the free account allows you to have 30 students)  or you can get a web link, which allows you to post the link onto your LMS (Moodle, Ultranet, Daymap etc), email students the link, or pop it on your facebook or Edmodo group. The data from results is anonymous in the weblink version, but if you are using it as student revision and self correction this could be helpful. Creating student groups is much like the Quizstar option. If you like this the cost per year is quite reasonable.

Wanting more control of how and wherer your quiz is shared? Perhaps Hot Potatoes is for you. The Hot Potatoes suite includes six applications, enabling you to create interactive multiple-choice, short-answer, jumbled-sentence, crossword, matching/ordering and gap-fill exercises for the World Wide Web. Hot Potatoes is freeware, and you may use it for any purpose or project you like. It is not open-source.

You will need to download the application, but this also means you don’t need an internet connection to create your quizzes. It also means you have control over where they are placed and who has access to them.

This is also a great way to get kids to create their own quiz as a learning task. Get them to put Hot Potatoes onto their Netbooks or Notebook. Have them share each others games!!

Socrative I mentioned in detail not so long ago, but just to reflect on this great tool for getting instant feedback. If you have an extended test you can send yourself a spreadsheet with all of your results. You can use it as a spontaneous pop quiz, with the responses on the IWB or Data projector.

Google Docs – Google Drive Fantastic tool to get students collaborating and sharing knowledge. ast year my year 12 students loved working together to create a study sheet. They felt really well prepared for their exams, and their results reflected this. Sometimes,, just hearing one of their peers explain a concept in a slightly different way becomes the “aha” moment for them.

So…. how do you prepare your students for exams? Is it fun or arduous? Do you use ICT to improve student preparation for exams? How?? I would love to hear about how others are using these and other great tools.