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Self-Scoring Quizzes

I have found some utility in teaching to be able to create small, self-correcting review quizzes based on students' current reading or other class-related material.

I have threfore created some web pages into which raw questions can be pasted or typed to generate such quizzes ready for use on teachers' web sites. I have made hundreds —possibly thousands— of quizzes for college freshmen using this software and have found the software reliable and the students enthusiastic. Some users have told me that what is available here is educationally superior to commercial products. (Examples are available on the Trivia Quiz Room page, although not all have been produced using the present software versions and some have been retouched after initial production.)

You may create quizzes for free using these quiz-maker pages.

Features:

  1. Each quiz takes the form of an interactive web page which should be created here and then downloaded and placed on a teacher's site, where it can be accessed by students.
  2. The Java-Script clockwork that evaluates each quiz reports the results only to the student. There is no provision to report anything back to the teacher. (Goal: Avoid student anxiety about the teacher noticing material not mastered; reduce student motivation to cheat by hacking the quiz.)
  3. The format invites a student to modify potentially wrong answers and try again. However to avoid random guessing, various devices are used to limit the number of "free" guesses. (Goal: Encourage the student to rethink items missed, how confident any "guesses" were, &c.)
  4. The number and (when it makes sense) the format of the questions is not fixed in advance. (If one multiple-choice question has 2 options and another has 10, it's fine.)
  5. Each quiz is self-scoring and requires no attention from the teacher once it is posted to the teacher's site. (Goal 1: Students benefit from an immediate response, while they still remember why they answered as they did. Goal 2: The teacher's time is should be saved for teaching.)
  6. Although created when a teacher pastes the questions and answers into a page on my site, the resultant quiz is designed to reside on the teacher's computer or server and is entirely independent of my site, which retains no trace of it. (Goal: The teacher is independent.)
  7. Once-downloaded by a student into a browser-cache, no further connection to the server is needed. If desired, a student can save a quiz onto any computer with a browser. (Goal: Minimal on-line time is required for those using dial-up modems.)

Quiz-Makers & Examples:

For additional sample quizzes, click here to visit my "Trivia Quiz Room." (Some of the quizzes in the Quiz Room were made or modified by hand and their format cannot necessarily be reproduced using the quiz-making pages.)

Script Hacking by Students

In these days of increasing computer sophistication, some students will be tempted to look at the source code either out of curiosity (which is probably good) or in order to find the answer to a question (which is probably bad, but is usually more trouble than it is worth). I have made no effort to keep the JavaScript at all obscure. (On the contrary I have made it as clear as possible so teachers can make modifications.)

Teachers seeking to avoid such behind-the-scenes exploration may wish to use encryption software to render the source code unintelligible while still allowing the web page to function normally. Free and simple on-line encryption can be found at HTML Encrypt at iWeb Tools. The encoding is quite simple and can be reversed, but the mere fact of encoding should discourage most students from trying to second-guess the exercise if no credit is given for the quizzes.

I and some other users of these quizzes have had good success with various more elaborate but inexpensive encrypting programs. More secure encryption can be had with Encrypt HTML Pro available for about $30 from Mtopsoft, or with WebCrypt Pro, available for about $40 from several distributers including Best Shareware. Such encrypting cannot be reversed, so encrypting programs usually make a backup copy of the original.

To see how encrypting works, you can view the same demo quiz in unencrypted and encrypted form. The two files should look the same and work identically, but if you use your browser to view the "page source," you can see the difference. (They were encrypted with WebCrypt Pro.)

Other Languages

Troubleshooting Quizzes With Other Scripts: Quizzes containing extended character sets occasionally do not work correctly. Here are some known issues:

Even more than with English quizzes, it is therefore essential to work each quiz you create to be sure it behaves as anticipated.

Other Language Versions of This Introduction:

View this page in Romanian (courtesy of azoft).
View this page in German (courtesy of Alexey Gnatuk at pkwteile.com).
View this page in Slovenian (courtesy of NextRanks).

Three types of quiz have been modified for use in Esperanto at Diversaj Helpiloj por Instruistoj.

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