Artifact 3: Multiple-Choice Quizzes Using Canvas
I edited an existing multiple choice quiz to better reflect learner styles, and to make test items more valid and consistent. The professor uses regular, qualitative assessment (low-stakes, multiple-choice quizzes on a semi-weekly basis) to gauge student learning and perform formative assessment. However, the existing quiz format did not adhere to best practices concerning assessment in multiple-choice tests. Mostly, the questions needed re-writing of the stem and alternatives, which was my goal for the implementation. I changed them to put the majority of the text (and context) in the stem and keeping the alternatives concise. I also changed the stems from partial sentences to questions, and provided the alternatives in a logical (alphabetical) order.
Each stem ended up about 3 times as long as the original version. I wrote a couple of sentences of context to frame the question, then posed a question. This task involved some extra research on my part, as I had to refer to the course materials (assigned readings) to make sure I was conveying correct information in the stem. Re-writing the alternatives was more challenging. Because the original alternatives were quite long, it was difficult to edit content without making the new alternatives unclear. Some of the information I could put into the stem, but too much information would give clues about the answer. I had to go back and forth with the professor a couple of times to ensure we had a good balance of her original intent for the questions and my edits. We ultimately ended up with a workable product.
The second component of this implementation was digitizing the quiz using Canvas. Currently, quizzes are given in-class on paper. By creating the quizzes through Canvas, it would become possible to have students complete the quiz before class, providing more class time for instruction. One of the functions of the quizzes is to test reading comprehension, so one difficulty with at-home, online quizzes is to make sure students couldn't access the reading while taking the quiz. Putting a time limit on completing the quiz would alleviate this issue. There's also the possibility of still giving in-class quizzes, but having students complete them using Canvas. This would also be helpful for students who need better accessibility (i.e. the could use a screen reader during the quiz). It would also be possible to integrate images, videos, or other content into the questions. This is definitely an avenue I'd like to pursue in the future.