Online quizzes improve learning outcomes in undergraduate first-year chemistry
Abstract“Practice makes perfect; bad practice makes perfectly bad” (Rozinszky, n.d.). Practice, study and revision without guidance and feedback is not effective; effective study, revision and learning requires guidance (Ericsson et al., 1993). Online quizzes delivered via learning management systems provide opportunities for formative assessment with immediate feedback (Lowry, 2005; McLoughlin, & Taji, 2005). Such quizzes, drawing on question banks of thousands of questions have been in use in first year undergraduate chemistry at the author’s institution for over six years. The use of a library containing thousands of questions incorporates elements of mastery learning (eg, Bearman & Russell, 1987) as students have multiple attempts of each quiz; it is estimated that students can repeat each quiz up to 6 times before there is significant repetition of questions. While early online quizzes were limited to multiple-choice questions, modern learning management systems permit the use of many types of questions, including fill-in-the-blank, matching, numerical calculation, and ordering a list. Some exemplars of online quiz questions will be presented. Statistical analyses show strong correlation between quiz performance and the final unit result, as well as a good correlation between the number of quizzes attempted and the final unit result. This research has human research ethics approval (DUHR EC 29 2008 and DU- STEC 23 12 LIM).