The Economics Network

Improving economics teaching and learning for over 20 years

Using formative assessment in a VLE to improve student engagement (Video case study)


In this short video I would like to show you how we could use formative assessments to improve student engagement with learning materials on Moodle.

Here I have a dummy economics module page that contains weekly
resources and additional learning materials. Now I will switch to student view. This is the student view of the main page with basic information and some learning modules. As you can see, new students enrolled on this module will only have access to Week 1: Introduction to Economics resources. So in order for them to access Week 2 and further weekly resources they would need to pass the quiz, so this is the formative assessment.

We'll pause here and then have a look here. This information says the this is an non-assessed quiz and students will need to pass the quiz with an at least 40% mark or they need to make at least three attempts. So by the end of the week students would, in a typical case, have engaged with these resources and would need to then pass a quiz in order to progress to the next week's resources.

So let's test that. So I'm going to go and and then do the quiz quickly. You have control over when to release this quiz to students and also you can set a time limit. I think setting a time limit is helpful because then students will also experience the time pressure of doing the quiz and also if you have specially timed quiz midterm exams or as summative assessments then this is a helpful exercise.

Here I specify the three attempts that students need to make if they do not pass in any of the attempts. So after three attempts students will automatically be given access to the Week 2 resources. Hopefully the students engage with the resources after that first two fails so we'll go ahead and then attempt to complete it.

In this formative assessment I have ten questions. Let's do the quiz and fail that first attempt. Now here we have the results: 3 out of 10 so that's a 30% and this is a clear fail, so the student will not be allowed to progress to next week. So this is the first week resources that we had access to before and as you can see there is no second week resource so the second week hasn't been revealed to the student. We'll attempt the quiz one more time - quiz one again. The student has now scored 40% or so correctly answered four out of ten questions, so this is a pass. Scroll go back and so - let's minimize this - yes, now we have access to second week resources.

So this has been done. We passed the quiz and as a result the system has allowed us to go to the second week. Now the same process is repeated here. Students will have to engage with all the resources and by the end of the week they will have to pass this Week 2 quiz in order to get access to Week 3 here. So that's that's how we could use formative assessments in the form of Moodle quizzes to induce engagement with the resources.

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