Blog Post

Grade Smarter

Using and grading quizzes for large sections

Although grading quizzes and homework assignment can be time-consuming, faculty might find it better than simply marking attendance. Keeping students engaged can be difficult, maybe using and grading quizzes can help.

Research suggests that approximately 70 percent of students come unprepared to class without doing the assigned reading. There is evidence that reading compliance among college students is not high (Sappington, Kinsey, & Munsayac, 2002) and has in fact been declining during the 1980s and 1990s (Burchfield & Sappington, 2000). It’s easy to see why professors are frustrated with a student coming unprepared or not even showing up to class. Sorry, but it makes me think of that famous scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off…Bueller, Bueller, Bueller.

In large class sections, providing scheduled quizzes can have a meaningful effect on attendance, student engagement, student preparation, and performance on exams. A study by Azorlosa & Renner observed an 8% increase in attendance between sections that provided quizzes versus ones that didn’t. The study also found that students felt more prepared for exams when quizzes occurred throughout the term.

In a classroom setting where announced and pop quizzes were given, there is a 20% increase in quiz scores when they were announced. Students also reported reading the materials more thoroughly when the quiz was expected. When quizzes contain material not yet covered by lecture or discussion, prior reading makes the classroom time more beneficial (Marchant, 2002).

Scheduled quizzes also provide faculty feedback on student learning. When students are struggling, formative feedback allows faculty to reteach or assign additional materials to help students. Admittedly, giving and grading quizzes may not make you the most popular teacher on campus. 😜

GradeHub and LMS online quiz modules can make grading easier and informative. One advantage of using answer sheets is ease and test security, particularly in large classrooms. Although, a secure browser can be used to alleviate security concerns in online testing.

Happy grading,

Mark from GradeHub