Reflection: Quizzes Redefining Work - An Introduction - Section 3: One-Question Quiz


I use this technique frequently and my students quickly come to expect it and, often, request it!! There are some interesting elements to this which I'll share here:

1) Students get to choose the lowest score out of 20 that they'd like to have count.  If a student does not meet their personal threshold, I'll toss out the grade and give them an "exemption" in the grade book.  This tends to diminish anxiety about "bombing the quiz" while simultaneously energizing the guided practice - knowing it's possible to get a 20/20 later in class provides an incentive for focused practice.

2) The single question is a simple variation on the kinds of problems we're doing on that day. In other words, the quiz question will mirror the guided practice questions. 

3) The quiz is remarkably quick to assess and I'll often have all quizzes graded before the end of class and can share the correct answer before students leave.

My goals are to collect a formative assessment of the group (how many showed mastery of this idea?) before the next class, to stimulate a focused guided practice session, and to do so with a very quick turnaround time for grading.  The exercise, in no way, should feel like the traditional "pop quiz" which is often designed to catch students "napping."  This is designed to catch students succeeding!

Here's a look at a few student responses: 

  Why a "One-question Quiz?"
  Quizzes: Why a "One-question Quiz?"
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Redefining Work - An Introduction

Unit 2: Electrostatics
Lesson 11 of 15

Objective: Students will expand their definition of work to recognize it as a natural consequence of the conservation of energy.

Big Idea: When an object's energy changes due to an external agent, that agent has "done work."

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