January 22, 2011

I Am The Quizmaker

Teaching an online class has forced me to have to make quizzes.

I’m not one that thinks that a quiz is the best way to judge how much somebody knows. However, I am a person who understands how incredibly stressful and not viable always doing things the right way is. There are plenty of more useful exercises in the class, but I want to give my students a point buffer and make sure they at least skim the textbook at the same time, because there is some stuff in there. Quizzes are the best way to do that in an online format.

Still, since I’m making quizzes, I have to have fun with it. It’s the only way.

Here’s the meta masterpiece of a question I wrote today: “True or False: Describing a complex situation as only having two possible outcomes is an example of an Either/Or Fallacy.”

That one is kind of subtle, but made me grin so hard when I thought of it. Of course, when I make multiple guess questions, there are five boxes for possible answers. You have to have one or two possible answers so that people actually have to know their shit to get the question right, but I mean, there are five boxes. It’s hard not to make one of them something completely ridiculous. Thus I’ve put lots of crazy phrases, quotes from the Big Lebowski, just about anything I can think of as that useless fifth answer.

Making a good quiz is fairly hard, still. In a lot of situations, it’s hard to think of plausible but incorrect options, as well as just figuring out ways to reduce a section of text into a multiple choice question. But at least I’m finding ways to entertain myself. Hopefully my students will at least get a minor chuckle when they finally get around to taking these online quizzes.

We had one teacher who would fill extra guess boxes with “DBD” or, Don’t Be Dumbified. Or he’d use stuff like “The great penguin revolt of 1942.” And people would pick that stuff!

Comment by Cris — January 22, 2011 @ 8:50 pm

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