There has been a longstanding debate among teachers whether assessments in education, particularly quizzes, really facilitate student learning. Many still have conflicting views towards tests as well as their effect on student learning outcomes.
Oppositionists would say quizzes rely on low-level questioning and require students to simply memorize details. It is also said that quizzing as a strategy is rather punitive in nature since students are compelled to review only for the sole purpose of passing the test but do not genuinely forge deeper and lasting learning.
Such a debate can go as far as to name dropping learning theorist John Dewey who expounded on experiential learning and shed light on the fact that people learn by doing. However, these aforementioned views are bleak and limiting. They undermine the perennial and significant role quizzes play whether in the physical or virtual classroom.
Especially in this era of online education modalities, teachers capitalize on strategies that facilitate objective evidence-based learning so they can have viable proof of progress in the paperless setting as well as help students prepare for higher-stakes exams.
Research shows that frequent quizzing helps in lesson retention both in traditional and online learning environments. This is vouched for by Bradford Research School (2018) when they argued that retrieval aids later retention.
In other words, taking a quiz or test makes students more likely to retain information for the long term. Moreover, as cited by Hillman (2012), pedagogical research findings within the field of psychology suggest that online, outside-of-class quizzes for assigned readings provide students with a variety of positive learning outcomes.
Students appear to benefit from the use of online quizzes as they become immersed and engaged in the course material and study with greater frequency throughout the academic semester. Relatively, Johnson and Kiviniemi (2009) also mentioned that the use of online quizzes has been shown to motivate students to complete assigned readings, increase participation in class discussion, and improve performance on exams for material covered both on the quizzes and in class.
From these, we can infer that there are really more pros than cons in quizzing, especially in distance learning. Why is it so?
5 Benefits of Online Quizzes in Educational Practice
1. Online quizzes boost student attendance and engagement.
According to Hillman (2021) because of such test practice, students come to class even more prepared. This is because frequent quizzing can encourage students to study and, in turn, reduce procrastination. With a few different design features, online quizzes can promote deeper engagement with the content, further the development of important learning skills, and provide both teachers and students with feedback that promotes learning.
2. Electronic grading in online quizzes helps in classroom management.
Since online quizzes are graded electronically, followed by a compiled summary of results, teachers have ample time to look at frequently missed problems as well as identify areas of gaps and misunderstanding. Then, the residual class time can be used to tackle and discuss concepts and topics that students find challenging.
3. Randomization of questions amplifies academic integrity.
Systematically randomized test questions help teachers maintain honesty and integrity both in virtual and physical classrooms. Because students will be on different pages of the quiz, it can prevent them from cheating and pave the way for a more authentic and truthful grading. This presents a good quizzing strategy to prevent dishonesty among students and uplift their morale.
4. Real-time grading saves a lot of time.
Immediate results provided by online quizzes help the students easily identify the gaps in terms of required knowledge and learning competencies. Quizzes are made to emphasize how much the student learned and they improve metacognitive monitoring through such.
When the students receive their scores right away, they can immediately quantify their knowledge and be more confident about what they know and still need to know. Unlike in traditional quizzing, teachers take time to manually check their work, and usually, students’ learning momentum on the particular topic goes off by then.
5. Timed quizzes help students with strategy and management.
Online quizzes can be strictly timed. This is an aspect that most teachers love about such a method. Classroom time is usually limited and a 15-item quiz can consume the entire period just by reading each question and multiple choices thrice, not to mention recapping, checking, and grading the quiz.
Having timed quizzes is truly beneficial for the classroom period. It teaches students to strategize which ones to answer first and retrieve information tactically. This is a skill that can help students go a long way in the real world.
Science and technology programs and courses require a lot of outputs for grading and evaluation purposes only for the purpose of assessing students’ academic standing. Therefore, assessment tools, in their truest sense, must not exclusively be depended on for quantifiable outputs that demonstrate student progress and achievement.
They only tell what students learned, how well they learned it, and where they struggled in a particular coverage. And just like other tools, they serve their purpose just the same.
Author: Bash Sarmiento
Bash Sarmiento is a writer and an educator from Manila. He writes in the education, lifestyle, and health realms. His academic background and extensive experience in teaching, textbook evaluation, business management, and travelling are translated into his works