Effectiveness of formative online quizzes in learning and teaching a structural engineering course

Aravinthan, Thiru and Lokuge, Weena and Manalo, Allan (2011) Effectiveness of formative online quizzes in learning and teaching a structural engineering course. In: AaeE 2011: Developing Engineers for Social Justice: Community Involvement, Ethics & Sustainability, 5-7 Dec 2011, Fremantle, Australia.

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Abstract

Formative assessments in the form of online quizzes are currently being introduced by several lecturers in order to enhance the students’ learning experience and student engagement. Previous research has shown that the use of weekly online quizzes facilitate the students learning especially to resolve problems with weaker students under-performing in particular courses. The online quizzes have been adopted by others to provide flexible assess to self-paced interactive study materials and to self-assess the progress of study for on-campus teaching. While the online or paper-based quizzes are effective in on-campus delivery as reported elsewhere, they become very valuable tool and imperative especially when the courses are offered in dual-mode delivery (oncampus and external) in a flexible online environment as offered at University of Southern Queensland. Online quizzes are considered to be effective learning tools as formative assessments especially to those students who choose to learn through independent mode of study as they can give instantaneous feedback regarding their progress in understanding the key-concepts. Are these formative assessments increase the students’ overall performance in their summative assessment where students are required to demonstrate their understanding through assignments and exams? While some studies reported that students who elected to use online quizzes performed better in summative assessments, there are others reporting there is no correlation between the performance in formative quizzes and the subsequent performance on summative assessments. In this study, we evaluate the overall performance of the students in a higher level structural design course where self-assessment quizzes were made available as formative assessments through the Moodle learning management system. Four years of data has been investigated to determine the effectiveness of the online quizzes to their learning of the course. The results showed there is a strong correlation between students who attempt the quizzes and their overall student performance assessed by final grades. The challenges in delivering the quizzes in flexible environment and increasing the student participation are also discussed. This paper will further discuss the important aspects that need to be considered when developing well formulated quizzes for technical courses and thereby maximising their potential as an effective learning and teaching tool.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Authors retain copyright. Paper 181.
Depositing User: Prof Thiru Aravinthan
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Agricultural, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2012 05:43
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2013 01:02
Uncontrolled Keywords: formative assessments; online quizzes; engineering
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090506 Structural Engineering
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970110 Expanding Knowledge in Technology
B Economic Development > 87 Construction > 8703 Construction Materials Performance and Processes > 870301 Cement and Concrete Materials
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/20668

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