There are always a few graded quizzes in each of my science units. I tell my students that quizzes serve two purposes, to let them know how well they are understanding the material and to let me know how well they are understanding the material. It should come as no surprise that students who earn 3’s and 4’s on quizzes tend to get 3’s and 4’s on the test. Students who earn 1’s and 2’s on quizzes, unfortunately, tend to do about the same on the unit test. I have always allowed and even encouraged students to retake a quiz, but most do not. In fact, the few quiz retakes I used to have were students who earned a 3 but wanted to bring it up to a 4.
With my new unit, I decided to change things up a bit in two major ways:
1. All students who earn below a 3 are expected to retake that quiz. It’s not mandatory, just expected. However, I’ve added it to my list of test retake requirements. Students will not be eligible to retake a test unless all quizzes have a grade of a 3 or higher BEFORE the test is taken. I’m hopeful that as students retake quizzes as needed, it forces them to address their misunderstandings throughout the unit. This is much better than waiting until the test to figure it all out, which many of them tend to do.
2. Quiz retakes are now online. Even with iPads, my graded quizzes are always on paper. Retakes were either the same exact quiz or a modified version of that quiz. Students had to come in a lunch or stay after school to retake the quiz. I’ve now created the quiz retakes using Google Forms. There are many benefits to this approach:
- Students can take the quiz at any time, at home or at school.
- I can add pictures to the quiz.
- Quiz questions can be displayed randomly, so even if two students are next two each other, they will be answering questions in a different order.
- Flubaroo is an “add-on” for Google Sheets. Not only can it automatically grade the quizzes for you, but you can set it up so students receive an email within a minute or so that tells them their grade, the questions they got right, and the questions they got wrong. You can also have the email tell students the correct answers for the ones they got wrong. I don’t use this feature though. Students can retake the online quiz as many times as necessary until they earn a score of 80% or higher.
The best part about these online quizzes is that they require very little work on my part. Once the quiz is published and shared, I wait for a few students to take the quiz before grading the assignment with Flubaroo. In order to do this, you need to take the quiz yourself, because It uses your responses as an answer key. You can then enable the “autograde” feature after that, then sit back and relax. Below is a screenshot of the “grades” spreadsheet that gets generated from the form. I’ve obviously blurred out student info, but you can see the total points/percent grade as as well the number of submissions needed to achieve that grade. One student took the quiz 14 times in order to get 100%!!
Here are two screenshots from the generated email that students receive. The first shows their grade, and the second shows what correct/incorrect responses look like.
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*The best way for you to see what the email looks like is to take one of the quizzes yourself!
Disclaimer: There is a small glitch with Flubaroo at the moment where the autograde feature stops working. You need to disable autograde, then re-enable it. It happened to one of my quizzes, but not the other. Flubaroo is aware of the problem and working hard to fix it.