Timed questions help students get in ‘flow’

It all started one warm Friday afternoon about 12 years ago. I was observing a Y10 class in a fairly typical mainstream secondary school. They were taking a test using Paperless School, a now-defunct system that I had designed.

One pair of boys particularly caught my attention. They were lolling back in their chairs, chatting about snooker and doing their absolute adolescent damnedest to project a “too cool for school” attitude. Once in a while they would click on an answer on the screen so they could lay some vague claim to still being working.

Engaged with the task they were not.

Realisation slowly dawned that, as system designer, this was my fault. I had to take responsibility for Continue reading

CAT: Computer Adaptive Testing

cat

Computer-adaptive Testing (CAT) has actually been around since the 1970s but it is still little-known and less understood.

How CAT works

Any given CAT assessment is based on a large bank of questions of varying, but known, difficulty on a given topic. The first question is served at Continue reading

How to preview quiz questions before you assign

Question stats

If you have been confirmed by your colleagues as a bona-fide member of teaching staff in your school, you can now see a list of all the questions in a quiz, together with the global response statistics for each question, before you assign it.

Why only for confirmed members of staff? It’s just Continue reading

62.5% is the ideal quiz score. Here’s why

62.5%

 What is the optimum average score for a quiz? 100%? Not in my view. It is 62.5%, or a number close to that.

When using a quiz as a summative assessment, your goal is maximum discrimination. That is, you want to be able to see as clearly as possible which students have ‘got it’ and which have not.

Consider a Continue reading