What is it?
Many lecturers and tutors ask their students to complete quizzes, problem sheets and online tests. Whether they are online, on paper or in class, these tools have the capacity to generate a large amount of feedback on how students are currently performing.
Quizzes in lectures are often a useful way for lecturers to identify the areas in which students are having the most difficulties and thus tailor subsequent lecturers to the needs and requirements of the students currently enrolled on the course. This ultimately allows lecturers to cover the more challenging areas of the curriculum effectively and in more details. The use of zappers during seminars and lectures is also an effective way of engaging students as it allows them to play an active role in the lecture or seminar. It is especially popular amongst first-year students who are making the transition between school/college to university and are currently adapting to university life. The zappers are available for loan from the Library, and guides and videos on how to use them can be found at http://www.southampton.ac.uk/isolutions/computing/elearn/zappers/. You can also contact ILIAD (formally CITE) who might be able to help and give pointers for setting up a quiz: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many departments also use quizzes, problem sheets and online tests to generate a large amount of feedback on how individual students are currently performing. While this type of feedback is both quick and detailed, it also gives academic staff the opportunity to find out how the cohort is performing as a whole, but also how individual students are progressing.
How can students make the most of it?
Quizzes in lectures are a great way for students to get instant feedback and be able to measure how they are doing compared to the rest of the class. To be able to make the most of it, attendance at lectures goes without saying. Although the use of quizzes and zappers in lectures is not always possible, students can mention them to lecturers who are not using them as something new to explore.
Even though many online problems sheets and quizzes are optional, students should be encouraged to complete them since it is an excellent opportunity for them to receive quick and detailed feedback. Moreover, it will also allow their lecturer to identify any areas that students are struggling with and consequently adapt the content of future lectures appropriately.