With each passing generation, we learn more about the factors involved in learning and the ways we can stimulate these factors. We are starting to become more aware of the attributes of an environment that students thrive in when given a specific task or learning outcome.
Little attention, however, has been given to timing or the elements that influence a decision made instantly by students. Assessments are particularly affected by timing, as they usually come as “one shot,” all-or-nothing events. The psychology of test anxiety has made little progress in the last decade. This is not only a disservice to the millions of students undergoing high stakes testing each year but also opens the gate to blanket statements about the dangers of standardized testing, which at best are only the result of misplaced fears.
But if you believe examinations are an important part of the learning experience, or at least a necessary evil, the TaskChain plugin (the union of previous HotPot and QuizPort plugins) might be worth your while. It is designed to provide a testing (or task completion) experience with more freedom than usual. TaskChain creates “task rooms,” or Activities comprising several tasks. Students can complete them following a pre-defined path or through their own choice. Teachers can add conditions to the completion criteria of the task rooms, including required or optional tasks, a minimum number of tasks, and so on. The tasks themselves support several Moodle Quiz types, from drop-down to Cloze (fill-in-the-blanks).
The TaskChain plugin for Moodle was recently updated. It’s most recent version is compatible with Moodle 2.0 up to 3.3. Install or download it from its Moodle plugin directory page.
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