If you are teaching a face-to-face class, you can easily find out whether your students are understanding course concepts. At minimum, you can ask students to self-report their comprehension by raising their hands or by using a classroom assessment technique that asks them to write down the muddiest points of the lecture. Alternatively, you can use student response systems (clickers) to gather more direct evidence of their understanding. But what if you want to gather information about student comprehension outside of class—either as part of a fully online course or in a flipped/hybrid setting?
When students are expected to access course content on their own, how can an instructor know what the students are doing and whether they are understanding the materials? In Canvas, there is no built-in tool for this type of formative assessment, presenting a barrier for online instructors. Canvas Quizzes are fundamentally high-stakes, and cannot be presented in-line with course materials. Canvas Assignments allow more flexibility in how the content is presented, but they can’t provide the quick and automatically-graded feedback that is important for students to understand their progress. To fill this gap, Quick Check was developed here at IU.
What is Quick Check?
Quick Check enables instructors to almost seamlessly integrate frequent low-stakes assessments into course content in Canvas, giving students ongoing feedback on their learning and encouraging engagement with course content. Presenting questions as part of the content can be less intimidating to students than a more formal quiz. Several question types are available, including
- Multiple choice
- Multiple correct
- Text match (i.e., fill in the blank)
- Multiple drop-downs
These questions can be graded, with grades sent directly to the Canvas gradebook. Instructors can customize the feedback provided to students, pointing out common misconceptions or errors, or referencing content the student might need to review. In addition to grades, instructors can also view detailed information about each student’s performance—e.g., the number of attempts and the results from each one—as well as broader information about the performance of the entire class. This data can enable instructors to help individual students as well as tweak upcoming lectures or assignments for the entire class.
Who is using Quick Check?
Ben Motz uses Quick Check in his introductory Psychology class that is fully online with over 300 students. He wanted questions about content to be viewable within the content, so that students are not directed away from the materials that they are currently engaged with. Ben wanted summary statistics about the performance of his whole class on a particular question, as well as detailed information about how each student performed on particular questions. He found that Quick Check was able to do all these things, while being secure, reliable, and fully integrated into Canvas.
Start using Quick Check
If you are interested in using Quick Check, sign up for the pilot or view the overview video. You can view a recorded webinar about the tool in the Teaching Centers’ Kaltura channel.
Thank you to Ben Motz and Sue Hathaway for their assistance with this blog post.