Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
Students will also need to know how to login to the course, find the quiz, and submit it. This sounds simple, but many students need reassurance that they will be able to master the technical skills to take an online course.
How the activity is situated in the course
Content/concepts goals for this activity
- point values of various parts of the course
- rules for plagiarism
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Other skills goals for this activity
- Using the course platform
- Submitting the quiz
Description of the activity/assignment
This quiz is part of the first unit of the course. The text of two examples quizzes is below, and of course you would want to change the questions and answers to reflect the policies and important points of your own course.
Adaptations that allow this activity to be successful in an online environment
This assignment replaces the first day of class when you jump up and down and reiterate how important it is that students know the course policies.
Elements of this activity that are most effective
The effectiveness of a syllabus quiz depends on the students' abilities to remember information and pick out what is important. I have used my quiz for several years. For the most part, I believe it is very effective (even in a face 2 face class) as it forces students to focus on the points I have deemed most important. That said, I still get a few students asking if they can make up an exam, for example. When I remind them about the rules in the syllabus, generally their response is that they have a hard time remember what rules/syllabus go with each course. It is my opinion that students in an online course know and remember the rules a lot better.
Recommendations for other faculty adapting this activity to their own course:
Obviously you can adapt this quiz to the particulars of your own course. I change the questions from semester to semester if the previous class had struggled understanding or remembering part of the syllabus. These questions are the ones that I repeatedly get asked throughout each semester, or ones that students get surprised by.
Determining whether students have met the goals
- A syllabus quiz is ideal when it is self-grading and students receive instant feedback.
- If possible, set up the quiz so that they may take the quiz as many times as needed to get all the questions correct.
- Some faculty do not score the quiz; others may elect to have the quiz grade count so that students take it more seriously.