The OU centre for STEM pedagogy
This project used analytics information to investigate student engagement with, and attitudes towards, the online interactive quizzes that form part of S217 Physics: from Classical to Quantum.
The module is delivered entirely online and covers many core physics concepts. Its assessment model comprises a mix of summative and formative assessment, the latter designed to provide opportunity for significant tutor feedback. We encourage student engagement with the formative Tutor Marked Assignments (TMAs) via a threshold score which has to be met in order for students to qualify for a grade based on the summative component. This has worked well as an incentive for engagement. In addition, a series of seven interactive online quizzes were designed to help reinforce learning and pace students’ study. To encourage engagement with these quizzes, each of the six TMAs contains a final question that invites students to reflect on their learning from the previous quiz and offers up to 10 marks.
Learning analytics data and student interviews were used to assess students’ engagement with, and attitudes towards, the online quizzes, and so test the effectiveness of this approach. It transpired that most students visited the quizzes only immediately before the TMA submission due date, and usually attempted the quiz questions only after completing the other TMA questions, although similar numbers of students attempted each quiz as submitted the corresponding TMA. Whilst this showed the approach to be effective in encouraging engagement with the quizzes, the quizzes were not wholly successful in pacing or preparing students as intended, nor did students find the self-reflection on learning to be useful.
As a result of these investigations, some adjustments to the placement of the quizzes in the Study Calendar and to the structure of the self-reflection questions in each TMA have been made for the next module presentation.