8 Innovative Ways To Use Pop Quizzes In Online Training
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How To Use Pop Quizzes In Online Training

Most people harken back to their school days when they think of pop quizzes. Their science or math teacher suddenly declaring that it was time to put down the books and get ready for a surprise exam. As such, pop quizzes often have a negative connotation among adults. However, pop quizzes are surprisingly good at triggering recall. It’s the combination of pressure from time limits and adrenaline from the competition. This motivates participants to get the answers right. Studies show that it’s easier to remember things when they are linked to strong emotion. The intense feelings imbued into pop quiz experiences sear information into the learner’s memory. Here are 8 innovative ways to integrate pop quizzes in online training.

1. Kick Things Off With A Knowledge Check

Getting into the right mind frame for learning helps your online learners absorb more information. It’s also a good way to gauge what they already know, giving you a better idea of what to cover. This allows you to custom-tailor the online training experience based on individual needs. Use a few preparatory questions to see where online learners stand. You should also explore general knowledge on the subject area, as well as whether true/false or multiple choice is a more suitable format for your online learners.

2. Provide Frequent Memory Refreshers

After they have received their online training materials, you can use another pop quiz. It will gauge what new information they have acquired, which is an excellent measure of how effective online training is. Set the after-test in a different format from the pre-test, since repetition can feel patronizing. Not to mention, boring. Reframe questions to make them less obvious and didactic. In this case, you can use short answers so that online learners must put the subject matter into their own words.

3. Include Qualitative Pop Quizzes

Your pop quiz shouldn’t just be about yes/no or true/false. You don’t just want to know if they’ve crammed relevant online training content. You want to know if they’ve understood it, and whether they can synthesize it. Ideally, they should be able to apply what they’ve learned in related real-life scenarios. Incorporate situations or branching scenarios that allow them to use their skills and build experiential knowledge.

4. Retain Learner Interest Through Self-Checks

A big component of adult learning is self-direction. Mature learners don’t want to constantly feel like their instructors are guiding their every move. They need space to challenge themselves and guide their learning process. Self-administered pop quizzes are a good way to do that. Include a section where online learners can go at will and explore a selection of quick pop quizzes. You can review and refresh them regularly so that there’s always something new to explore.

5. Motivate Online Learners With A Leaderboard

Another big part of the learning process is healthy competition. While some people hate being pitted against each other, most find the adrenal surge motivating. Incorporate an attractive leaderboard with the top scorers in each pop quiz. Attach little awards and badges that will automatically be pinned on online learners’ class profiles. Participating in the rankings should be voluntary so that the more internally focused online learners don’t feel impinged upon.

6. Boost Collaborative Learning With Small Contests

While online training can often be an asynchronous pursuit, group sessions are helpful. Of course, it can be tricky organizing these sessions, because all online learners follow their own schedule. One way to get them together is to create a formal competitive event. Set aside an hour every week and invite everyone for a class ‘game show’. Online learners can video in, use their keyboards as buzzers, and compete to answer questions in teams or on their own.

7. Offer Pop Quizzes As A Revision Module

Towards the end of the online training course, instructors may want to confirm that learners have absorbed all the online training content. This is especially important for academic courses and for compliance online training. An overall ‘exam’ may be set for this purpose. To help online learners prepare for the ‘finals’, offer a series of mixed revision tests. They should be ‘open book’ pop quizzes, with links to the relevant sections of the online training course. If online learners are not sure about their answer, they can click to refer. These tests can be taken as many times as the learner wants, with no penalty for wrong answers.

8. Serious Games With A Vintage Twist

As a homage to Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, and other beloved game shows, you can transform your pop quizzes into entertaining serious games. Invite online learners to compete against their peers or even computer-generated characters online to alleviate some of the pressure. They get points for every correct answer, in the hopes of making it to the final bonus round. You can even offer an extra incentive for the winner, such as a badge or free pass on the next online training module. Another approach is converting pop quiz questions into an epic adventure. Online learners get to choose a path or advance to the next level when they answer correctly or accumulate enough points.

Incorporating pop quizzes in online training may not seem like a professional choice, but it does work. Your online learners will have fun and retain more of what they have learned. Use a pop quiz before the class to stir their thinking caps, and another after the chapter to spot the difference. Pop quizzes should test how well they understood the online training material, and whether they can apply it. Online learners can check their test scores to see their own progress and vie for the top spot on the leaderboard. Pop quizzes in online training also boost group collaboration and facilitate peer-based feedback. So, get your buzzer ready and go!

Are your online learners able to test their skills and knowledge on the go? Read the article 9 Best Practices For Creating Multiplatform-Friendly eLearning Assessments to discover how to create multiplatform-friendly eLearning assessments for your next eLearning course.

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