Thursday, 16 September 2010

Let's think about MCQs & online quizzes differently - lets think more about them as a method of connection with individual students

The buzz over social media has put online MCQs in with the 'bad old days'. But let's think again. What they really are is a two way connection with every student. From one to many. We are blinded by our familiarity, that this tool can only ask knowledge based questions First let's expand the methods of this communication to include multi-answer response and short answer response. This changes the range of possible inputs from the many.

The connection that is started by one individual to many, asking or requesting a fairly specific response. When that response is made the many will receive an instant reply, which can be general or specific. This information can then be analyzed and further responses made. It can remain private or certain elements revealed.

There is also another dimension of making a series of requests with each one using the information formed by the pervious

To break this down into a series of questions we have. for what reason is the communication made?
Who writes the initial communication?
Who receives it and when?
What is the motivation or requirement to answer?
What is the immediate response for and what is contained in it?
What's done with the answers?

for what reason is the communication made?
This is the most important question. Why would an individual make this request. Lets look where this happens in life. - vote for someone something, show preference - survey opinion
- gather information about individuals, e.g. Where they were born
There are many points and contexts that this type of communication as useful. In an educational setting you could. . .
- vote for year rep
- be asked to send in a single idea for a criteria, these could be analysis and then used again to mark a sample piece of work.
- survey perceptions prior to a f2f meeting - identify common errors in previous work
- self diagnostic - survey student perception of how well they are doing
- level 3 students write what they wish they had know/done in level 1. This is then used in level 1 survey to see if they can guess what was said
- level 3 write questions in short text box. These are used with level 2 to identify common mistakes in answers, these are used to test knowledge of level 1 students
And on and on

Who writes the initial communication?

Get students to use the tool under your supervision. They devise the activity or survey/questions for their own peers or other year groups.

Who receives it and when?

is it a specific group
Is it a specific group identified by a previous set of question
What year level?
What part of the year?

What is the motivation or requirement to answer?
This is the difficult one, but besides making it have a mark weighing you could....
With hold access to certain materials until it is completed
Make it seem exclusive, if they are submiting drafts for peer evaluation, only those that submit will be allowed to join the peer process.
But by far the most effective will be they way the information is used. If they see it has real benefit to them, they will complete it, an be involved in further question activities.

This is only a starting point, the real leap in the use of this tool is to think creatively and go beyond the obvious

Posted via email from abstractrabbit's posterous

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