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Basic knowledge in order with Brightspace Quizzes

'The whole process stimulated us to think about teaching in alternatives ways'

Dr Maartje Luijten

Dr. Maartje Luijten and Dr. Gabriele Janzen, lecturers from among others the course neuropsychology (Pedagogical Sciences), wanted to help students. The goal was to let students get started earlier with the basic knowledge about the course. At the same time, there needed to be more time for application questions in the exam (instead of mainly knowledge questions).

What did you develop for your course?

“In our course the students have eight weeks to learn about the functioning and developing of the brain at high speed. This is very interesting, but also very ample and sometimes complex. We knew that this course is a real challenge for students, so we have been thinking for some time about ways to offer students more motivation and structure.” To do so, the lecturers have developed several learning materials and environments:

  • Multiple choice quizzes in Brightspace. Every week two subjects from the basic knowledge are addressed. You can only continue to the next quiz if you have answered at least 80% right. To pass the course, you also have to get 80% for all quizzes;
  • Weekly Q&A sessions in Zoom where students can ask all of their questions about the two specific topics of that week;
  • Forums, for both the submission of Q&A questions and discussions for students among themselves. There was also a forum for the final questions before the exam took place. All fora had clear deadlines for the submission of questions.

The lecturers have heard from students that they appreciated the weekly Q&A sessions. In the end 2/3 of the group has done the quizzes on a weekly basis. “We also found that it was motivating that we added deadlines for the asking of questions on the fora. We have also learned a lot ourselves, also about asking the right application questions in the exam. Before working with this setup we were doing a lot of the talking; this method has created more interaction. However, this was difficult to achieve sometimes with Zoom” they explain.

Would you recommend this to other lecturers?

“We are happy that the quizzes have motivated the students to get started sooner” say Maartje and Gabriele. “It was a lot of work, but we will benefit from that the next time. The first quiz in Brightspace took us a day. That is when we asked colleagues and Veerle (TIP Social Science) for help. We got a lot better, after which it took about 1.5 to 2 hours to complete a quiz – both the questions and the feedback. We have also invested 1-2 days to think about this new course set up and to learn from colleagues and Veerle. The entire process has really stimulated us to think differently about our education.”