Recent buzz words in the educational community these days include "technology-enhanced," "active and collaborative," "constructive," and "interactive." We all know that incorporating new instructional techniques such as the use of specialized computer software, group activities or projects, problem-based learning, and just-in-time feedback can help enhance instruction. Unfortunately, many instructors simply don't have the time or resources to include these techniques in the courses that they teach. This may be particularly true for instructors who 1) teach multiple courses or very large courses, 2) are members of several university committees, and/or 3) are busy conducting research in their field.
Development. Quiz Wizard has been in development over the past year at the Center for Academic Computing (CAC) through the combined efforts of Education Technology Services (ETS) and User Services. Recently, the scope of the project has expanded to include staff from Advanced Information Technologies (AIT) and Graduate Education and Research Services (GEARS).
Computer and Access Requirements. To access Quiz Wizard on the Penn State server as a student, one needs a Penn State Access Id and password. To access Quiz Wizard as an instructor, one also needs an Access Id and password, and must apply for an instructor account. Both students and instructors need a computer with Internet access and an Internet browser. Users with Netscape must use version 3.0 or higher; users with Microsoft Internet Explorer should use version 4.0 or higher. We recommend that your monitor be set to 256 colors.
Features. Quiz Wizard currently has many features available for instructors. Instructors have the capability to create multiple choice or true/false questions and save them in a question bank. These question banks can be organized by the instructor in a hierarchical fashion. The instructor can also edit questions and move them between question banks.
Once questions have been created, the instructor can create a quiz with the following specified features: 1) quiz name specified by instructor, 2) questions presented in random or fixed order, 3) "question groups" which contain a pool of up to 10 items to be randomly selected from differential item weights specified by instructor, and 4) total quiz points specified by instructor. In addition, the instructor can include audio, video, graphics, etc. in questions by typing in the HTML. The instructor can also provide hints and feedback for each question on a quiz. The students' scores are saved to a data file which is accessible only to the instructor. The instructor can also list and print all the items in a database, including answers, hints, feedback, and notes. Finally, the instructor can also hide a quiz from students while it is under development.
Quiz Wizard also has many features available for the students. The student can choose the appropriate quiz from a pull-down menu and can view a quiz preview/summary page which displays the number of items and weight of each item. The student views one question at a time, with the option of changing any item answer before having the quiz scored. The answers remain selected so that the students can return to an item and see what s/he answered initially. The student can also check a box to indicate the need to check a question again. After scoring a quiz, the students views a quiz summary that displays the total score and correct and incorrect answers, as well as the capability to view the corrected questions again along with feedback from the instructor.
The developers of Quiz Wizard anticipate that this software will allow instructors to organize and maintain question banks and create quizzes and tests with greater efficiency. This will help enhance instruction by allowing students to have more immediate feedback and instructors to focus more on other aspects of their teaching.
Some features, such as short-answer or fill-in-the-blank questions, are not yet available
in the software but will be added in Version 1.0, which is due for release in Summer, 1999.
For a complete list of features planned for Quiz Wizard, please see the informational website.
If you are interested in participating in the beta test, please refer to the website and then contact Connie Garrett-Ingram, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Center for Academic Computing