Wednesday, 19 April 2017

To quiz or not to quiz?

Dear All

Colleagues from 19 Australian universities are contributing to the development of the ‘Contemporary Australian Teaching Practices’ MOOC which we will pilot in semester 2, 2017. As the MOOC is designed specifically for university staff who are new to teaching, we have designed it to introduce basic concepts such as how to provide constructive feedback or teach a diversity of students.  Ideally I would like to see our new teaching colleagues spend about two hours a week across a semester, exploring a different topic every week.

However, it is possible that some colleagues who have been teaching previously will access the MOOC. While I want to encourage people to dip into all of the 11 modules, people will of course, pick and choose what is of value to them: just in time, just for me.

I wonder if it would be useful therefore to have say one multiple choice question from each module in a preliminary ‘self assessment’ quiz, which colleagues could use to guide their choices.

What do you think? To quiz or not to quiz???




  1. I would suggest that there could be value in the quiz but wonder what sort of questions it would include? It would need to be very carefully crafted so that potential participants were appropriately guided. Perhaps an approach could be to include a question about the value of a quiz as part of the participant feedback, so those who are actually participating could say - yes a quiz would have helped me choose the modules more effectively or I am not sure a quiz would have been of use as I am so new to teaching or something else??

  2. Hmmm, this is a conundrum! Personally, I really want the whole 'package' to be undertaken by commencing staff. Even those who've taught before and even those who've done a Grad Cert, as I've found that even those people don't have a strong grounding in scholarly teaching, or the educational research in their fields. I can understand Kym's point that it's better that people 'dip' than not do any, but my preference would be to expect unis would take up the resource and complete it in full!

  3. Marie Fisher (Bernie)20 April 2017 at 18:25

    Ann and Yoni have made some excellent points - I tend to agree with Yoni that I want all our new academics to complete the introduction. Perhaps we could design some questions as follows:
    questions that make them think about what aspect of their teaching they need help with now;
    A question that returns a response which tells them what the module is about (overview) and pershaps one example of subject and activities they may be asked to complete...
    just my thoughts.
    Marie Fisher (Bernie), ACU

  4. thanks much for your thoughts.
    perhaps what we might do is ask people who chose to do the pilot mooc with us this coming semester if a quiz would have helped guide them. I guess that therefore we will need to find some colleagues who are a year or two into teaching to enrol. We could ask them what sort of questions would have helped them and try out a few questions with them.
    thanks again for your feedback


  5. Dear Kym,

    yes I think that approach would be great! Colleagues who are a year or two into their teaching would provide feedback that would help us make the decision - quiz or not to quiz....

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