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Online Student Practice Quizzes and a Database Application to Generate Them

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Abstract

Online practice quizzes are a popular way for students to test their readiness for a classroom exam. The authors have developed a quiz database application that stores potential test questions and exports selected subsets of questions to a web-based Javascript program. Feedback from students has been very positive. Students indicate that the question-feedback cycle helps them learn the material and prepare for the real exam. This paper will discuss how the database application works, explain how educators can obtain and use the application for use in their own classes, and provide general guidance for constructing quiz questions that make the quiz a positive learning experience.

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... With the widespread application of computer technology to instruction in recent years, the use of computers to administer tests is increasingly applied in education (Bonham et al. 2000;Buchanan 2000;Mason et al. 2001;Olson 2002;Randolph et al. 2002). In addition, because of the rapid advancement of Internet technology, many assessment systems are designed based on WBT, which works over the Internet and utilizes browsers as its interface. ...
... Bonham et al. (2000) stated that it is important that WBT can be assessed through the Internet with standard browsers as students can assess the online test anywhere and anytime. Bonham et al. (2000) and Randolph et al. (2002) discussed the security and equity issues of online tests. They both indicated that the password function for identification of testees is essential. ...
... In addition to the functions above, the random function is also very important. Randolph et al. (2002) indicated that the use of random questions could keep students' curiosity on the examination and then encourage them to try the quiz repeatedly, and thus drilling the students in key concepts. ...
Article
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This study introduces the development of a Web-based assessment system, the Web-based Assessment and Test Analyses (WATA) system, and examines its impacts on teacher education. The WATA system is a follow-on system, which applies the Triple-A Model (assembling, administering, and appraising). Its functions include (1) an engine for teachers to administer and manage testing, (2) an engine for students to apply tests, and (3) an engine for generating test results and analyses for teachers. Two studies were undertaken to assess the usefulness and potential benefits of the WATA system for teacher education. In the first study, 47 in-service teachers were asked to assess the functions of the WATA system. The results indicated that they were satisfied with the Triple-A Model of the WATA system. In the second study, 30 pre-service teachers were required to use the WATA system during the teacher-training program. After 4 months of experience in using the WATA system, the pre-service teachers' perspectives of assessment have been changed significantly. The findings of these two studies might provide some guidance to help those who are interested in the development of Web-based assessment and intend to infuse information technology into teacher education.
... Supervision during a test delivered online may be conducted through the use of webcams. However, while taking a WBT, students may be able to access the answer key by viewing the source code of the web page (Randolph, Swanson, Owen, & Griffin, 2002). One solution to this problem is to encode the keyed responses as strings of unicode characters (as in Hot Potatoes). ...
Article
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For many students and teachers working in online environments during the current pandemic crisis, the use of computers for educational testing is often an unavoidable predicament. This may be due to the fact that computer- based materials are not merely a useful addition to the learning and teaching resources, but rather the only option available. However, although in some contexts computers may indeed be a significant hindrance to test developers and test takers alike, they actually offer a number of substantial benefits. It is also worth pointing out that, by and large, educational tests delivered through online platforms with the aim of measuring progress and achievement in learning have a lot in common with traditional paper-based tests. This article is thus an attempt at balancing the advantages and disadvantages of computerized testing with a view to finding out whether this mode of testing can be recommended as the preferred choice. Based mainly on a literature review of research and practice in the area of computerized and online educational testing, the paper provides a synthesis of key issues relevant to using electronic devices for the purpose of constructing, administering, and analyzing tests and assessments. In particular, the discussion focuses on the models of test administration, the merits and demerits of computer-assisted testing, the comparability of paper-based and computer-based test scores, as well as selected features of web-based testing systems, such as text-to-items converters, test generators, full-screen delivery mode, automated scoring (and human verification thereof), score reporting, feedback, as well as quantitative analysis of test scores. The article also puts forward some arguments in favour of developing one’s own testing application.
... Depending on the level of human supervision provided during the test administration process, 10 this drawback can be of greater or lesser consequence to the meaning of test scores. When tests are delivered via the internet, even in supervised conditions, examinees may be able to access the answer key by viewing the source code of the web page (Randolph, Swanson, Owen, & Griffin, 2002). A possible solution to this problem, adopted by, for example, Hot Potatoes, is to encode the keyed responses as strings of unicode characters. ...
Book
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This book is about developing language tests with the aid of web-based technology. The technology is represented by WebClass (webclass.co), a learning management system (LMS) that I have been developing and using in blended environments for the last several years. The WebClass platform started off as a simple online system for administering language tests consisting mostly of multiple-choice and gap-filling items. At present, it includes two main modules, Materials and Tests, which can be used to author, manage, and deliver learning materials and assessments. Most importantly perhaps, the testing module can be utilized for the entire process of test development, which includes test and item analysis.
... These are followed up with questions to confirm knowledge transfer related to performance objectives. Answer choices for questions are made straightforward, unambiguous, and plausible; some questions focus on recall knowledge but others are presented so that they require learners to analyze and interpret [17]. ...
... Quizzes contain general questions (e.g., multiple-choice, true or false, etc.) that participants answer and receive immediate feedback based on computer-programmed responses (Aggarwal & Bento, 2002;Dixon, Karlsson, & McGill, 2002;McCormack & Jones, 1998). Because of their brevity, quizzes often serve as coaching mechanisms to help ensure that the participants are focusing in on the key concepts (McCormack & Jones, 1998;Randolph, Swanson, Owen, & Griffin, 2002). Unfortunately, the facilitator may overuse quizzes because they are convenient and less time consuming to develop, administer, and score. ...
Article
This paper synthesizes the research on managing web-based learning emphasizing the administrative role of the course facilitator. Topics such as how to establishing meeting times, track attendance, monitor participation, and grade participant contributions provide the reader with a basic understanding of key responsibilities facilitators need to manage in order to provide effective online training. Based on the research findings, guidelines were developed for online course facilitators to use.
... Computer-based packages and other learning objects provide a useful supplement to students studying conventionally by illustrating aspects of the curriculum. Other packages are directed at aspects of course administration such as automated assessment (for example, see Randolph et al. (2002)). Initially such software and materials played only a supplementary role in course offerings, but this has changed rapidly. ...
Article
Full-text available
Information and communications technology (ICT) has increasingly influenced higher education. Computer-based packages and other learning objects provide a useful supplement to students studying conventionally by illustrating aspects of the curriculum. Other packages are directed at aspects of course administration such as automated assessment (for example, see Randolph et al. (2002)). Initially such software and materials played only a supplementary role in course offerings, but this has changed rapidly. For example, Coleman et al. (1998) describe a successful early attempt to replace all lecturing with computer-aided learning. Remote delivery of courses also became a viable option because of the advent of the WWW. For example, Petre and Price (1997) report on their experiences conducting electronic tutorials for computing courses. Online education of various sorts is now routinely available to vast numbers of students (Alexander, 2001; Chen & Dwyer, 2003; Peffers & Bloom, 1999). Various terms have been used to label or describe forms of education supported by information technology. These include e-learning (e.g., Alexander, 2001; Campbell, 2004), Web-based learning (e.g. Huerta, Ryan & Igbaria, 2003; Khosrow-Pour, 2002), online learning (e.g., Simon, Brooks & Wilkes, 2003), distributed learning and technology- mediated learning (e.g., Alavi & Leidner, 2001); with e-learning probably the most commonly used term used to describe education and training that networks such as the Internet support. E-learning has become of increasing importance for various reasons. These include the rise of the information and global economy and the emergence of a consumer culture. Students demand a flexible structure so that they can study, work and participate in family life at the same time (Campbell, 2004). This flexibility is reflected in alternative delivery methods that include online learning and Internet use. We have also become more sensitive to cultural and gender differences, and to the learning needs of the challenged. These needs may be addressed by e-learning (Campbell, 2004).
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