Leanne Johnstone's design narrative: Using Socrative to develop skills in answering multiple choice questions.

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Leanne Johnstone
6 April 2017

Narrator

I am a teacher of Biology for higher education courses within a further education college. I designed, created and delivered the learning activity.

 

Situation

The group consisted of 4 adult learners on a first year BSc module. The end of module assessment contained a number of multiple choice questions which they needed to answer under examination conditions within a specific timeframe.

 

Task

In order to suitably prepare the students in the style of questions, a series of multiple choice quizzes were developed, supporting the delivery of the module. Although the content of the questions would not be the same as in the actual exam, the task aimed to allow students to develop strategies that enabled them to successfully navigate the questions within the time constraints of the end of the module assessment. The measure of success for the activity would be through an ongoing evaluation of the scores obtained in the quizzes, which would increase if the learning activity was meeting its objective.

Actions

  1. Preparation of the assessment questions. These were taken from the content of the module.  
  2. Construction of the Socrative Quizzes. This was time consuming but the resources are not available for future years for the duration of the module.
  3. Delivery of the quiz over a ten-week period. Each quiz was delivered as a plenary activity at the end of the last session of the week. The quiz was carried out through mobile devices.
  4. Feedback was provided to student both instantly through the Socrative application and through a PDF showing the results e-mailed to the students after the session. This did not take up very much time as I had such a small group but I can imagine that this task would be cumbersome should it be used with a large group.

Results

  • Students reported that the quizzes did help them prepare for the MCQ aspect of the exam.
  • Scores for the MCQ component of the assessment were mostly higher than for the longer answers required in the other parts of the assessment.

 

Reflections

1-      Doing something consistently can be extremely valuable. By using Socrative each week, students did not need to spend unnecessary time familiarising themselves with the quiz software.

2-      The data provided of the results proved very useful in quickly identifying learners that may struggle with the exam so that appropriate support could be put in place.

 

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