Since the rise of MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions) as forms of assessment, the pros and cons of utilising this tool have been discussed in regards to effective student learning. The LITEbox team is delighted to be hosting a workshop, with two of the UK's leading figures in the field of assessment through MCQs, on Tuesday 9 May 2017 starting at 1.45 pm until 4.00 pm in 3 East 2.1.
Register here for this workshop
It is widely agreed that MCQs reduce marking time, making it an ideal strategy for large cohorts of students, however the potential superficial manner of learning combined with time investment to populate the questionnaires, can make this effort seem less worthwhile.
Prof Anthony Gardner-Medwin (University College London, Physiology) and Dr Steve Draper (University of Glasgow, Psychology), two of the leading figures in the field of assessment through MCQs in the UK, will join us to discuss what features make a multiple choice quiz effective, and if there are particular ways of designing MCQs to test/enhance deeper learning, without compromising the students’ experience. In particular, Prof Gardner-Medwin’s talk will focus on the advantages of MCQs with Certainty-Based Marking, predominantly in relation to summative assessment; while Dr Draper’s talk will focus on the advantages of Peer-Wise (student-authoring) MCQs, in relation to formative assessment and deep learning.
This workshop is being run as part of the LITEbox initiative and arises from a project funded by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Teaching Development Fund. This project is exploring the wider role that new and existing technologies can play in supporting teaching and learning techniques in the classroom that enable students to engage with the public and other communities.
The details of the event are as follows:
Date: Tuesday 9 May 2017
Time: 13:45 – 16:00 (including refreshments on arrival and a 30 minute Q&A session)
Location: 3 East 2.1
Sign up for the workshop
Find out more about the event (PDF)
This post has been written jointly by Andrew Heath (Associate Dean, Learning & Teaching), and Rachel Applegate and Yvonne Moore (Faculty Learning Technologists)
The Faculty of Engineering and Design held its first Technology Enhanced Learning event in March. It was a great chance to hear examples of good practice from staff. We decided that a short (50 minute) session was the best for busy staff with a few very short presentations. A few key themes emerged:
- How to encourage and manage interactions with large cohorts of students
- Streamlining assessment practices and providing timely feedback for large cohorts was another key topic
- Helping students to engage with external publics such as professionals in industry was also of interest.
It became clear that these topics relate to the emerging strands in the forthcoming University Education Strategy, and within this context, the Faculty is considering how to increase and improve postgraduate provision.
The presentations from the event highlighted ways in which technology can be used to facilitate large group activities, enabling students to communicate and collaborate and be assessed.
The four presentations of learning and teaching activity were:
- Moodle – for online MCQ assessment
- Lino-it – for sharing views anonymously
- Audience Response System – for interactive question and answer sessions in class
- Re:View (Panopto) student presentations – for developing employability skills.
Find out more about each of the presentation topics in the event write-up (includes a recording of the event).
It was helpful that each presenter gave a realistic view of the activities in terms of perceived success as well as barriers they faced along the way and what could be done to overcome these in future. The discussion at the end of the session identified that others could benefit from the presenters’ experiences. This sharing of good practice is key to promoting excellence in learning and teaching. It also highlighted to the Faculty Learning Technologists that there are developments going on that are quietly happening without any support from them. This opens up questions about efficiency and sharing good practice that they hope to address in the future.
The event was well attended and positively received and we’re already in the process of planning the next one, focussing on assessment and feedback. A huge thanks to the presenters, Jos Darling, Marcelle McManus, Mirella Di Lorenzo and Aydin Nassehi. Further thanks to Jos Darling (Director of Teaching, Mechanical Engineering) who also organised the event, along with Rachel Applegate (FED Learning Technologist).
Dr Momna Hejmadi, Department of Biology & Biochemistry, gave a presentation on the topic of using multiple choice questions (MCQs) in Moodle for summative assessment, with many tips and points to consider. Momna's experience comes from having been involved with a TDF project to investigate the use of Moodle quizzes for assessment across multiple departments.
Read Momna's case study including: context; how it was set up; benefits; and points to consider when trying this yourself
Watch a full recording of the event (27 minutes plus discussion)
The main drivers for moving towards using Moodle MCQs for asssessment were:
- NSS/PTES scores
- Students prefer timely feedback rather than quality feedback#1
- Increasing student numbers (349 cohort in 2015/16)
- Time pressures on staff in enhancing research metrics
- Selective/Strategic learning in years 1 and 2.
The first year in which Momna trailed this new system ran smoothly, however the second year with an even further increased cohort size did not. At this point the contingency plan was used, which is why Momna stressed that involving AV, registry and e-learning at all stages of design and implementation was necessary.
If you are interesting in using MCQs in your teaching, read the case study on using Peerwise which allows students to create and answer their own MCQs across the cohort.