As the fall semester comes to a close, many teachers are thinking about final exams or end of the semester summative assessments. Often those semester exams cover a lot of information. The prospect of preparing students for those exams can be daunting. I work with a lot of teachers who spend hours creating review activities for their students to help them review information in the weeks leading up to those exams. As anyone who reads this blog regularly will already know, I don’t think teachers should invest hours creating review activities that students are perfectly capable of generating.
Instead of asking, “How can I help students to review for the exam?” I encourage teachers to ask themselves, “How can students help each other prepare for the exam?” The answer to this second question puts the onus on students to do the work.
Quizizz is a fun, free quiz maker that students love because it makes review feel like a game. Teachers can sign up for a free account and identify the subjects and grade levels they teach. Quizizz will show you content that has already been created by other educators. You can use any game with your students that has been shared publically. Are you teaching students about Latin roots, orders of operation, or cell division? There are already games created and ready to use! There is also a private mode if you prefer not to share the games you and your students create.
When teachers ask students to generate review questions for a Quizizz game, it requires that they review the content you’ve covered to identify important information, promotes critical thinking, and encourages conversation and collaboration. I would suggest working this activity into a station rotation lesson where students work collaboratively online to generate their review questions. Ideally, each team would make a Quizizz game for a category of information (e.g., chapter in the textbook, unit of study, collection of vocabulary words). That way, there are multiple games generated on different topics that can be used to foster review leading up to the exam.
Teachers can use a couple of different strategies to capture student-generated questions and answers. First, they can provide students with a formated Google Document, like the one pictured below, and let each team fill in their questions and answers. That way, the teacher can easily review and edit questions before copying and pasting them into a Quizizz game.
Another option is to collect answers via a Google Form. Joe Marquez recorded a video demonstrating how he formats a Google Form to collect student-created questions/answers and import them directly into Quizizz. To check out his video and the Google Form template he created, click here.
Once you have a series of fun review games, you can decide if you want to run them as a:
- Team mode: Students work together in teams to answer the questions correctly.
- Classic mode: Students work individually at their own pace through a fun review experience.
- Test mode: Students log in to complete an assessment without the fun, informal game-style features.
If the goal of using Quizizz is to prepare students for a summative assessment, I recommend using the team mode to encourage students to engage in conversation and social negotiation as they attempt to answer questions correctly. The conversations they have about the questions will encourage them to think more deeply about the content.
This strategy shifts students from consumers to producers. If they have a hand in designing the review activities for the test, students will be more likely to engage when it comes time to play each other’s games!