Using Quizzes to Increase Compliance Module Icon

Using Quizzes to Increase Compliance

This module addresses options for quizzing students to increase compliance with assigned readings. 

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This resource was originally developed with resources from the College STAR grant. That grant has ended and the College STAR modules will now permanently reside at the East Carolina University Office for Faculty Excellence.

Module Introduction

Many professors affirm that compliance with reading assignments is vital to student learning (Hoeft, 2012). Getting students to comply with assigned readings is no easy feat, since the norm is for students to skip reading altogether. Professors are left, then, to determine how best to compel students to prioritize readings as assigned.

Dr. Melinda Kane, Assistant Professor of Sociology at East Carolina University, implemented weekly quizzes on assigned reading as a part of her pedagogy in 2000. Dr. Kane has perfected the instructional practice over the years. Initially, Dr. Kane chose to give quizzes only in lower level courses, but later expanded use of quizzes to upper division courses as well.

Dr. Kane includes an explicit explanation of the quiz requirement in the course syllabus and discusses the practice thoroughly with students at the onset of the course. Ultimately, using quizzes as a part of instructional practice encourages students to make Dr. Kane’s reading assignments a priority in order to come to class prepared. Students, then, are able to contribute to meaningful class discussion and they affect a key part of their course grade. 

Support for this Module

Original development of this module was made possible by the College STAR (Supporting Transition Access and Retention) initiative.  College STAR was a grant-funded project focused on partnering postsecondary educational professionals and students to learn ways for helping postsecondary campuses become more welcoming of students with learning and attention differences. Much of this work was made possible by generous funding from the Oak Foundation.

Authors/Creators
Melinda Kane

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College STAR

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Implementation

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Interactive module

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WCAG v2.0 A

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Posted date:

November 10, 2022

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Assessment Empowerment: An Active Choice-Based Assessment Strategy

The objective of this case study is to illustrate the potential for differentiated assessment (aka assessment empowerment) to enhance students’ level of engagement and satisfaction with their learning experience. Differentiated assessment empowers students by giving them a voice and allowing them  to choose how their learning is assessed.  

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Module Link

This resource was originally developed with resources from the College STAR grant. That grant has ended and the College STAR modules will now permanently reside at the East Carolina University Office for Faculty Excellence.

Module Introduction

Most students are required to read the same material, write the same tests, and complete the same assignments as all the other students. This traditional pedagogical strategy inherently disadvantages many students, which, in turn, also disengages many students. More than a century ago, Dewey (1916) argued such pedagogical strategies expect students to conform to the educational system, they afford students little freedom, and they ignore learners’ strengths, interests, and skills. An alternative approach provides students with options for reading materials and assessment tools that meet their individual needs and allow them to focus on their personal strengths, interests, and skills. This alternative pedagogical strategy is called “differentiated instruction” and is defined as the process of

“ensuring that what a student learns, how he/she learns it, and how the student demonstrates what he/she has learned is a match for that student’s readiness level, interests, and preferred mode of learning” (Tomlinson, 2004, p. 188).

A more nuanced definition is provided by Carol Tomlinson in the video provided in Figure 1. The relevance of this issue is illustrated by Biancarosa and Snow (2004, p. 8), who suggest that “as many as 70 percent of... [adolescents may] require differentiated instruction … targeted to their individual strengths and weaknesses”.

Based on seminal work by Tomlinson (1999, 2003), “differentiated instruction” has become widely adopted in practice. Over the past two decades, a substantial body of knowledge has been generated about the theory and practice of differentiating what or how a student learns. On the other hand, the theory and practice of differentiating how students demonstrate what they have learned has received considerably less attention. This scarcity of information on the theory and practice of “differentiated assessment” is surprising given Tomlinson’s (2004, p. 188) definition explicitly includes “how the student demonstrates” their knowledge. Therefore, this case study distinguishes between differentiated assessment and differentiated instruction as distinct, but related processes. Thus, differentiated assessment is defined as

the process of ensuring how a student demonstrates knowledge, ideas, and concepts matches their readiness level, their personal interests, and their preferred mode of action and expression.

Most pedagogical strategies allow the teacher to decide what, when, how, and where learning is to be assessed, including differentiated instruction and differentiated assessment. An alternative strategy would be to allow students to decide what, when, how, and where learning is to be assessed. Such a strategy would encourage students to have a “voice” in their learning (see Dewey, 1916) and “play an active role in the assessment process” (Francis, 2008, p. 547). This strategy may become increasingly necessary, as Francis (2008, p. 547) warns, because

… “the lecturer is increasingly seen as being fallible, and students are judged to be far more likely now than at any time previously to challenge methods of assessment and to expect greater input into the assessment process on their part.”

This looming challenge for the academy was recognized almost half a century ago by Friere (2005, p. 73), who warned that the education system emboldens students to conform with teacher demands and become passive participants in their learning.

Assessment empowerment allows students to become active participants in the assessment process. Assessment empowerment allows students to: (i) take control of the assessment of their learning; (ii) choose how they want to demonstrate knowledge, ideas, and concepts; and, (iii) allow them to actively focus on their personal strengths, interests, and skills. My accidental journey into the theory and practice of assessment empowerment began with ad hoc accommodations of students’ needs (e.g. new due dates, alternative test formats). Over my teaching career, I have also regularly allowed students to choose research topics of interest to them, provided choices on tests (e.g. answer three of five questions), and allowed students to choose due dates for tests and assignments. However, these choices may be better described as an expression of “critical democracy” rather than assessment empowerment.

My journey took an interesting turn in the fall of 2015. Students were permitted to choose any medium and means to communicate the results from their major research project (e.g. PowerPoint, poster, photo-essay, diorama, or interpretive dance). One particularly creative student used spoken word to poetically and passionately communicate a compelling, articulate, and well-informed story about the quality of drinking water on Indigenous reservations. This experience provided compelling evidence of the benefits from students playing an active role in the assessment of their learning. Since then, I have been expanding the choices in all my college classes, and especially for introductory (100 and 200-level) courses.

Support for this Module

Original development of this module was made possible by the College STAR (Supporting Transition Access and Retention) initiative.  College STAR was a grant-funded project focused on partnering postsecondary educational professionals and students to learn ways for helping postsecondary campuses become more welcoming of students with learning and attention differences. Much of this work was made possible by generous funding from the Oak Foundation.

Authors/Creators
Jamie Spinney

Organization/Publishers:

College STAR

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Professional Development

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Interactive module

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WCAG v2.0 A

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Posted date:

November 11, 2022

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Why Should I Care? Co-Designing Engaging Classroom Science Assessments With Students

Audience members will learn about a co-design method developed as part of a four-year, U.S. Department of Education-funded research study that employs Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to create engaging, equitable, and inclusive classroom science assessments that can support instructional decision-making.

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Audience members will learn about a co-design method developed as part of a four-year, U.S. Department of Education-funded research study that employs Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to create engaging, equitable, and inclusive classroom science assessments that can support instructional decision-making. These assessments are designed to evaluate students at deeper levels of knowledge and skill than traditional assessments. With assistance from the presenters, audience members will try out the co-design process.

Session Video Recording
Interactive Notes Document

Authors/Creators
Robert P. Dolan
Kim Ducharme
Allison Posey
Samantha Gilbert

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Posted date:

January 20, 2022

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Got a Minute? Assessment Module

Participants will deepen understanding of assessment and explore how to design assessments minimizing barriers and increasing construct relevance.

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Participants will deepen understanding of assessment and explore how to design assessments minimizing barriers and increasing construct relevance.

Outcomes of the module: 

  • Deepen understanding of the purpose of formative and summative assessment
  • Explore construct relevance and its impact on assessments
  • Design  or revise a literacy assessment

To access the interactive learning module, click on the Interactive link above or select this link: Got a Minute? Assessment Digital Module

Authors/Creators
CA Coalition for Inclusive Literacy

Organization/Publishers:

California Coalition for Inclusive Literacy

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Teaching Resource
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Professional Development

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Posted date:

August 13, 2021

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Supporting Diverse Students and Teachers in Effective Classroom Assessment Through UDL

Effective Classroom Assessment Through UDL

Supporting Diverse Students and Teachers in Effective Classroom Assessment Through UDL describes a four-year, US Dept of Education-funded collaborative project—I-SMART

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This session describes a four-year, US Dept of Education-funded collaborative project—I-SMART—which is leveraging UDL principles to develop (1) rigorous science assessments for students not meeting grade-level standards, including those with significant cognitive disabilities and (2) an innovative, flexible score reporting dashboard to help teachers adjust their instruction based on assessment results. Assessments were co-designed with students to provide rich, interactive, and engaging scenarios that allow flexible means for students to understand what is being asked of them and choose means for responding. The teacher dashboard was co-designed with teachers to provide multiple means for engagement, representation, and action & expression, as well as scaffold them on more difficult processes, such as interpreting dynamic learning maps. Prototypes of the assessments and the teacher dashboard are demonstrated, and preliminary research findings are shared.

Session Video Recording
Interactive Notes Document

Authors/Creators
Bob Dolan
Kim Ducharme

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Document
Video

Accessibility
WCAG v2.0 AA

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Posted date:

November 24, 2020

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The Assessment Playbook: A UDL Approach

The vision of this Playbook is to highlight key ideas and deepen opportunities to learn more about the topics presented in the UDL assessment video series.

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Welcome to The Assessment Playbook

Selecting the "DOCUMENT" link above, you can access The Assessment Playbook. The vision of this Playbook is to highlight key ideas and deepen opportunities to learn more about the topics presented in the UDL assessment video series:

We hope this Playbook will support K–12 educators as they plan and implement assessments during the school year in order to inform the design of instruction. Effective design and implementation of assessments helps ensure that all students are able to grow and develop as learners—so they are empowered to build on their strengths and improve on areas of challenge. Inspiration for this video series and accompanying Playbook was developed as a way to better understand the gaps in learning that may have occurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Authors/Creators
Amanda Bastoni
Tracey Hall
Bill Wilmot
Allison Posey

Organization/Publishers:

CAST, Inc.

Resource File Type
Document

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Posted date:

August 13, 2022

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Document Title:

The Assessment Playbook: A UDL Approach

Document Summary:

The vision of this Playbook is to highlight key ideas and deepen opportunities to learn more about the topics presented in the UDL assessment video series.

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blackboard drawing of a playing field with x's and o's and arrows indicating movement

The Assessment Playbook: A UDL Approach

The vision of this Playbook is to highlight key ideas and deepen opportunities to learn more about the topics presented in the UDL assessment video series.

Average: 5 (1 vote)

About

Welcome to The Assessment Playbook

Selecting the "DOCUMENT" link above, you can access The Assessment Playbook. The vision of this Playbook is to highlight key ideas and deepen opportunities to learn more about the topics presented in the UDL assessment video series:

We hope this Playbook will support K–12 educators as they plan and implement assessments during the school year in order to inform the design of instruction. Effective design and implementation of assessments helps ensure that all students are able to grow and develop as learners—so they are empowered to build on their strengths and improve on areas of challenge. Inspiration for this video series and accompanying Playbook was developed as a way to better understand the gaps in learning that may have occurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Authors/Creators
Amanda Bastoni
Tracey Hall
Bill Wilmot
Allison Posey

Organization/Publishers:

CAST, Inc.

Resource File Type
Document

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Posted date:

August 13, 2022

Access the full resource here if it does not render.

Document Title:

The Assessment Playbook: A UDL Approach

Document Summary:

The vision of this Playbook is to highlight key ideas and deepen opportunities to learn more about the topics presented in the UDL assessment video series.

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$0.00
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Evaluating Assessments

This fast paced and fun video provides useful recommendations for classroom teachers on how to design and evaluate assessments to best evaluate students' knowledge and skill.

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This fast paced and fun video provides useful recommendations for classroom teachers on how to design and evaluate assessments to best evaluate students' knowledge and skill. It covers the topics of:

  • Using assessments to find out where students are and how they learn best
  • Designing assessments to support learning and help students become more aware of their own learning needs
  • Understanding "construct relevant" and "construct irrelevant" design elements of assessments
  • Understanding and avoiding construct "irrelevant" design features of assessments that may create barriers
  • Evaluating individual items of an assessment that may be problematic and getting in the way of understanding the student's knowledge

Select the "Video" tab to access and play the video.

Organization/Publishers:

CAST, Inc.

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Professional Development

Resource File Type
Video

Accessibility
WCAG v2.0 A

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Posted date:

February 8, 2021

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purple background with the words "Assessments for Grades 9-12" and the CAST logo

Assessments for Grades 9-12

This fast paced and fun video provides an overview and strategies for effective use of assessments for high school level teachers for students ages 14-18.

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This fast paced and fun video provides an overview and strategies for effective use of assessments for early elementary grade level teachers. As a follow-up to the Introduction to Assessments, this video reviews the three big questions from the context of a classroom teacher working with high school students (ages 14-18).

  • How is the assessment linked to the learning goal?
  • How does the assessment engage the learner?
  • What barriers migh students experience?

Select the "Video" tab to access and play the video.

Organization/Publishers:

CAST, Inc.

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Professional Development

Resource File Type
Video

Accessibility
WCAG v2.0 A

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Posted date:

January 13, 2021

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purple background with the words "Assessments for Grades 6-8" and the CAST logo

Assessments for Grades 6-8

This fast paced and fun video provides an overview and strategies for effective use of assessments for middle school level teachers for students ages 11-14.

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About

This fast paced and fun video provides an overview and strategies for effective use of assessments for early elementary grade level teachers. As a follow-up to the Introduction to Assessments, this video reviews the three big questions from the context of a classroom teacher working with middle school students (ages 11-14).

  • How is the assessment linked to the learning goal?
  • How does the assessment engage the learner?
  • What barriers migh students experience?

Select the "Video" tab to access and play the video.

Organization/Publishers:

CAST, Inc.

Resource Quick Find
Professional Development

Resource File Type
Video

Accessibility
WCAG v2.0 A

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Posted date:

January 13, 2021

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