The following is a excerpt of a great post about the UK Moodle Moot for 2010 over at Louise Jakobsen’s eLearning Blog. Visit http://loujak78.wordpress.com/ to read the full post. In the post Louise covers her first impressions, recaps of the presentations and keynotes she attended and rolling commentary that makes the post both engaging and personal. Well worth the read!
The following is Louise’s coverage of the sessions focused on Moodle Quizzes…
Tuesday (am) Breakout session 1 – Moodle Showcase – Using Quizzes:
There were 3 presentations: from; Wissam Nahas, Eoin Campbell and Tim Lowe
- Wissam spoke about the use of Moodle quizzes as a formal assessment / online testing tool. In his organisation they focus on developing tests for teachers, they also facilitate lab based timed tests and help teachers with the task of manually grading some question types as well as analysing results. They had found that with larger numbers of individuals accessing a ‘quiz’ at the same time it negatively affected the server / speed so they now stagger the start at intervals of 2 minutes, and limit questions to 5 per page – in case any are lost.
Particularly useful tips during this 20 minute slot included: The importance of staggering start times and the use of Moodle quizzes as online tests –> it would be good to have a conversation with awarding bodies to establish the validity of this. However we do not have a large enough team to provide the level of hands on support as in this example, however we do encourage tutors to create their own resources, including quizzes, so that they take ownership and the eLearning team’s available time is efficiently used.
- Eoin spoke about research he had done with primary learners about giving individuals permission to generate quiz questions as a differentiated activity, that encourages higher order thinking skills. He identified that the interface of the Moodle quiz was not friendly enough to use directly though as it added barriers to the learning process / potential of the activity. Nonetheless he had found that students were very interested in and keen to create their own questions and naturally differentiated the activity, with less able individuals opting for simpler question types (e.g. True/False, Multiple Choice), while more capable learners writing more difficult (Matching / Cloze / Short Answer) questions. In response to this he developed a word template based around a table and wrote some code to help import the questions into Moodle. There are aims to release as a plugin after a rewrite but the existing resources can be found at http://www.moodle2word.net.
digitalmaverick: RT @mattlingard: Impressed with OU Quiz interface & it’s use on this Maths course #mootuk10 Are these OU amendments feeding in to #moodle2
While it was good to hear someone talk about using question generation as a learning activity it wasn’t something new to me and I wish that it had linked more to the core features of Moodle – maybe the new quiz in Moodle 2.0 will solve some of these issues? Alternatively there may be an option to tweak the code / appearance ourselves to improve some of the negatives highlighted, however it may be that working with older learners from 14+ the interface wouldn’t be such a barrier?
- Tim demonstrated some of the features of the quiz module that the Open University (OU) have been developing and using, specifically related to the Maths and Statistics department. He explained that the OU do not like the term ‘quiz’ as that is something ‘done in the pub’ – instead they use the term ‘iCMA’ (Interactive Computer Marked Assessment)! They have found it important to create at least 5 versions of iCMA questions and deliver them randomly so that students can have almost unlimited attempts at practice tests. The additional functionality of a question navigation panel, with colour coding for right / wrong answers, was shown and examples of providing links to coursework through feedback and using the drag and drop question type for equations were highlighted as good practice.
Again some great tips were included in this presentation, that I can use to encourage staff to make greater use of the quiz module. I especially like the use of drag and drop for equations that could easily be used for scientific formula too and the development of large banks of questions to improve the flexibility of resources.
Read the full post at: http://loujak78.wordpress.com/2010/04/23/moodlemoot-uk-2010-1/. A special thanks to Louise for sharing this “guest” post with us.