Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tuesday Tech Tip: Involving Students in Building Assessments

We have posted previously about creating digital assessments as teachers, but having students actively involved in creating questions can be a great way to engage them (and each other) in content.  When students create their own quiz questions, for example, they have to both review the material and think about what makes a good question.   Basically, it can encourage a metacognitive approach to learning.
For this type of activity, one option we have is to use a Group in Schoology (in CCSD, school-based admins and district level technology support can create groups).  Because a Group is a place designed for collaborating and building learning materials, it's a great spot to have students engage in similar work.  Students can join a Group using an access code (or they can be added manually in the Members area).  They can add test questions -- in additon to uploading files or adding links -- as long as they are co-admins in the Group (they have the crown).

To add questions into an existing test/quiz template, students can use the settings wheel to edit questions.  Encourage them to be thoughtful about different question types for quizzes, consider having them include multimedia or images that support concepts, and perhaps have them think about aligning resources to learning outcomes.  As with any learning activity, be clear about your expectations and how you expect them to complete the task.

Once the students have added items, they can be previewed and edited by the teacher & other group members. In a group, members can view what an item looks like, but actual interaction for something like a quiz happens in a course.  This lets the teacher decide what items to bring into a course for student interaction.

So what can students do as admins?  In our system, we have it set so that they can add things like updates and resources, but they cannot (even as admins) change group settings, message anyone other than teachers, and delete the group.  While they can delete items in a group (like links or files), anything deleted goes into the Recycle Bin for the Group which can be restored by the teacher.

While Schoology is one way for students to generate questions, there are many other options to accomplish this, including Google Forms.  If you need help or have questions about how you  might do this with students, please contact your school's technology coordinator or your Technology & Learning Coach.

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