Online courses are great. They have democratized education by allowing anyone with a computer and an Internet connection learn anything they want. There are countless of autodidacts around the world who are taking advantage of this unprecedented opportunity.
However, there are also difficulties associated with self-directed learning, the main one being the lack of guidance. No matter how hard-working you are, there are always blindspots, and it can be difficult to find these gaps in your knowledge without the help of a teacher.
This is why quizzes are so important for autodidacts. When you take a quiz, you are forced to test your knowledge, and you quickly find out what your weak spots are. So how can you create better quizzes for your own students?
#1 Know what you are trying to achieve
Okay, so before you start brainstorming the quiz questions, you should really think about what it is that you are trying to achieve.
Take a good look at your course. What are its main objectives? What should your students know after having completed it? What skills do you expect them to master? These are all important questions that you need to answer. You can’t hit the target if you don’t know what the target is, right?
#2 Put in the time and effort into the quiz questions
It might be tempting to put together a quiz in 15 minutes during your lunch break. And sure, you can do that… But don’t you think that your students deserve better?
What you should do is really try your best to create a great quiz. Schedule time for it. Then, go through your course, and brainstorm as many questions as you can. Then, take a good look at those questions, and pick the best ones. Only then arrange them into a quiz.
Keep in mind that this quiz is going to be an important tool that your students will use to test their knowledge and skills. Really do your best to create an excellent one!
#3 Use a variety of formats for your quiz questions
Nowadays people have really short attention spans. That means that you have to keep them engaged even when they are doing something simple like taking a quiz. You don’t want them to quit half-way through, do you?
So don’t use the same format throughout the entire quiz. Mix multiple choice questions with open ended ones and with drag-and-drop exercises (you can do that with this free quiz maker). That way you will ensure your students don’t get bored and stay engaged up until the very end.
#4 Make sure that your questions are easy to understand
When you are teaching in a classroom environment, your students can always raise their hands and ask you to clarify what you just said, but in an online course misunderstandings are hard to solve. So really make sure that you phrase the quiz questions in a way that is easy to understand!
#5 Provide positive feedback
Remember how great it felt when the teacher would praise you for giving a correct answer? Sure, you can’t do the same for your students, since they are going through your course independently. But you can still provide some feedback!
When a student gets the answer right, you should give them some encouragement, even if it’s something silly like a smiley face with a speech bubble saying “That’s great! Keep it up!”.
Quizzes are a great learning tool. They allow the students to test their knowledge and find their blindspots. So don’t hesitate to add some to your online course. Just be sure to really put in the time and effort to your quizzes outstanding!