Avoiding frustrations of unprepared students with online quizzes

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International Business and Economics Research Journal

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Clute Institute


University of Cape Town

The hierarchical nature of many degrees enables higher-level courses to build on knowledge that has been developed in earlier courses. However, when students enter with weak prior knowledge, lecturers have to spend time addressing this before starting with the new material. This adds time pressure and frustration to lecturers as well as students who have strong prior knowledge. In this paper, we discuss a strategy that we implemented in order to encourage students to revise or learn prerequisite material at the beginning of a master's level module. Students were asked to take an online quiz on the prerequisite topics. Immediate feedback directed the students to resources which could enhance their knowledge and understanding of the material prior to course commencement. We discuss the multiple benefits this had, for both students and the lecturer, drawing on students' written responses to reflective questions about the experience and reflections from the lecturer on the use of online quizzes.