As teachers, we strive to encourage and guide students in becoming lifelong learners, capable of seeking and using resources independently. In promoting this self-directed learning, “online quizzes provide the ongoing feedback function to help learners modify their learning behaviors” (Abney, Amin, & Kibble, 2017). Many tools are available to accomplish this, but Quizalize has piqued my interest more than others. Quizalize provides this formative assessment, giving students immediate results with possibilities of extended teacher-created feedback so that students can grow in their autonomy.
With this prompt feedback, the use of Quizalize aligns nicely with the International Society for Technology in Education’s (ISTE) Standards for Students. ISTE states in its first standard that technology should create an Empowered Learner and allow them to “use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways” (ISTE Standards for STUDENTS, 2016). Teacher enhanced feedback created in Quizalize can assist the student in this process. Students are able to demonstrate their learning through creating their own Quizzes. Once they’ve created a “teacher account”, they are able to access the quiz making features. Not only can an assignment be made for students to create their own quiz, this feature can also be used to create personal flashcards that students can access for studying. Allowing students to work collaboratively with classmates through one group account will allow them to share information in creating quizzes and flashcards. These activities continue support for the ISTE standards of Knowledge Constructor and Creative Communicator.
Another avenue provided by Quizalize is the option to upload YouTube videos as well as audio files within quizzes and activities. This function allows for activities to connect to real world situations within the quiz or flashcard element. As an example, a Spanish teacher may want to quiz her class on conversational phrases using the audio feature to provide students an opportunity to translate. A geography teacher can use segments of travel videos to show climate clues when quizzing students on various locations.
Quizalize also allows for typing math symbols in its “math mode”. This certainly makes quizzing in math courses easier. However, quite often it’s necessary to see the actual math work a student uses to solve a problem. A suggestion for Quizalize is to allow students the ability to upload a photo of their handwritten work to solve problems. This would be an extremely beneficial feature for math and science teachers to include in created activities. Without this capability, Quizalize becomes more of a rote and drill exercise in these subject areas. This drawback prevents Quizalize from scoring high on the Triple E Framework rubric used for evaluating a technology tool’s ability to meet learning goals and positively influence the learner’s achievement (Kolb, n.d.). This rubric, centered on engagement in learning, enhancement of learning goals, and extending learning goals, questions if the technology tool allows the student to demonstrate their comprehension in ways not provided through traditional means. In this particular vein, Quizalize misses the mark for math courses.
Quizalize offers teachers a quick and easy “big picture” of each student’s progress. As students participate in a quiz or activity on Quizalize, the teacher is able to immediately determine their growth in the content area and assign material accordingly. Opportunity to adjust assignments based on an initial quiz score provides students with work at their level of understanding without excess assignments (Mcglynn & Kelly, 2017). This process enables the teacher to differentiate the learning for his or her student and sets up the student to work at a comfortable pace and proceed pursuant to their own ability. Quiz items can be tagged to reflect state standards or the national Common Core standards.
Critical educational technology theorist Neil Selwyn encourages a healthy dose of skepticism when evaluating tech tools. “What forms of educational engagement are being promoted through digital technology use, and what forms are being obscured and silenced?” (Selwyn, 2014). This is especially important to ask when evaluating the many features offered by Quizalize. Certainly the value supplied by offering the creative path for students to produce their own quizzes and to work collaboratively with classmates is beneficial, but are all subject areas provided the educational engagement needed to connect learning with the world and everyday living? This form appears to be lacking in some areas (i.e. math) with more work to be done in order for Quizalize to accommodate all.
Quizzes are not all that Quizalize has to offer. With some creative lesson planning, teachers can use the many features of this tech tool to encourage their students to go beyond simple rote and drill activities. Unlike some other quiz sites, Quizalize gives a variety of options for each problem/question you pose, from multiple choice, matching, and ordering, to entering free text and math text. To recap, Quizalize affords opportunity for students to assess their learning with immediate feedback as well as the ability to demonstrate their knowledge (with constraints on math) through creating their own quizzes and flashcards. Certain subject areas are able to connect to real world uses through video and audio options. Overall, Quizalize does a good job engaging, enhancing, and extending the learning with a few exceptions that I encourage the developers to tackle.
Abney, A. J., Amin, S., & Kibble, J. D. (2017). Understanding factors affecting participation in online formative quizzes: an interview study. Advances in Physiology Education, 41(3), 457–463. https://doi.org/10.1152/advan.00074.2017
Kolb, L. (n.d.). Triple E Framework. Retrieved January 22, 2019, from https://www.tripleeframework.com
International Society for Technology in Education. (2016) ISTE Standards for Students. Retrieved January 23, 2019, from http://www.iste.org/standards/for-students
Mcglynn, K., kaitlynjfetterman@gmail. co., & Kelly, J., janeykoz14@gmail. co. (2017). Using formative assessments to differentiate instruction. Science Scope, 41(4), 22–25. https://doi.org/10.2505/4/ss17_041_04_22https://doi.org/10.2505/4/ss17_041_04_22.
Quizalize. (n.d.). Retrieved January 24, 2019, from https://www.quizalize.com
Selwyn, N. (2014). Distrusting educational technology critical questions for changing times. New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.