In the summer term I did a 4 week project with a group of ten pupils aged 14 – 15 years from Our Lady’s High School Preston . The plan was for them to create some quiz questions for the rest of their class based on the skill sets of the Functional Skills Level 2 ICT qualification they were doing. Getting students to create Moodle quiz questions is nothing new, and as pedagocially sound as it ever was, but I’ll blog about the mechanics of it some other time in the Teaching with Moodle forum where I do regular “Moodle Tips”. The mechanics of it -how you give them the permissions to create quiz questions in Moodle – is the easy part; writing the actual questions is the hard part! I thought I’d share how we went about it over the four weeks and how successful (or not) I felt we were:
In Week 1 we never went near Moodle. Using some of the lessons learned from Designing smarter quiz questions, I gave them the group some “unsatisfactory” quiz questions to discuss and identify what was wrong with them. Some were fairly easy: obviously silly wrong answers in multiple choice questions, which gave students an unfair chance at guessing the correct one…
…while some made them stop and think about use of language…
…while others were beyond them and needed an explanation…
Intrigued as to how much would stay with them I set them a homework of getting full marks on a “content free” quiz written in gobbledgook I’d discovered courtesy of Tim Hunt, and which you can try for yourselves on the School demo site and download from Moodle.net
In Week 2, they each chose a skill set they would like to create questions on. They had to create ten questions each. Two of them wanted to collaborate on the same skill set. I said that was fine as long as you still make 10 questions each; otherwise you are doing half the amount of work! They were then shown how to create quiz questions in Moodle. I had intended for them just to give 100% right and 0 for wrong but was interested to see how several actually wanted to award partial marks for partially correct answers. In the second half of the session, and for all of Week 3, they made their own questions. They were allowed to search the internet for inspiration and some wanted to add images – this proved a learning curve in itself: how do you take screenshots? Which format do you save them in for Moodle? Which program to use for resizing and editing them? Can you resize them in Moodle? What about copyright? And so on. It wasn’t in the brief to go into all this in depth but had we had time, I think it would have been very useful – since you can add videos and hyperlinks too, they could have enriched their questions even more.
In Week 4 they were meant to test out each others’ quizzes, act on feedback and go back to class to try them out on other pupils. You can download the resultant quiz from Moodle.net here, to tweak as you wish. The questions are not perfect – but they’re there, and there are plenty of them There are some notes about use at the end of this blog post.
On reflection, were I to do it again, I would lay as much emphasis on the importance of good feedback to each response as I did trying to get them to create good questions. They gave some thought to the phrasing of their questions but few of them have constructive comments following a right or wrong answer. Proof reading is important too – I’m used to training teachers who (mostly!) spell and punctuate fairly reasonably, but some of the group struggled in this area. I would also do a quick revision of their own ICT skills (screenshots, hyperlinking, etc) in the initia session. And of course we’d bear in mind that creating the Perfect questions and Perfect feedback takes time, practice and experience – not something you can achieve in a short project. However, public credit goes to: Declan, Jack, Amy, Michael, James, Tom, Matt, Lewiss [sic], Jordain [sic] and Hamed, and thanks to their teacher @teknoteacher Alan O’Donohoe for giving them the chance to spread their Moodle wings.
As an aside, there is a cool plugin which turns multiple choice questions into a retro-style arcade game - I can see these students enjoying that very much.
Note: You can either restore the whole course into your Moodle and and use “as is” - see docs: Course restore or you can import the quiz (once restored) into your own Moodle course – see docs Activity Restore - or you can simply use selected questions by exporting and then importing one of the chosen question categories – see docs: Export questions and Import questions.