Design Patterns for CS Education/Design Patterns/Active test

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Active test[edit | edit source]

Pattern Name

Active Test

Problem: Writing large numbers of questions can be difficult for a teacher, and students can be surprised by the type of questions, or what is considered important to know.

Level (Introduction, Intermediate)

Semester (any)

Activity type (quiz)

Solution: Students are asked to identify and write relevant test questions. Students form groups for this in class activity, and are assigned sections of the book/lessons. Each group creates several test questions. The teacher then selects questions from the bank of student questions to use on the test for all students. Students get extra credit for writing questions, and additional points if their questions are selected for the test.

Formation (random)

Size (pairs, small)

Composition (any)

Duration (single class, topic based)

Contribution to grade (small)

Activity progression ( individual to group, group to class )

Roles (any)

Rationale: Asking students to create test questions turns studying for a test into active learning. Students are highly engaged when they know that if they write a test question it could be on the exam.
Potential Pitfalls: Students do not always come up with good test questions. Students may not know the answers to their own test questions. Many questions will overlap.