We did a group quiz last week. You had fifteen minutes to complete your quiz on your own and then were assigned a group of three and a location to work on your quiz together. You had to hand in one quiz to be marked, the others were shredded. Before you handed in your quiz, you all had to agree on the answers.
Everyone who wrote the quiz passed, which is the first time that had had ever happened this year. Most of your comments were very positive. Many of you thought you did better than you would have on your own. I think, as usual, that some students weren’t prepared, but by the time they handed in their tests they knew their stuff. You taught each other. I heard some excellent discussions, you really had to know your stuff to change your classmates minds, in some cases. I read in your comments that “when you work together with other people you can share ideas and get better answers.” I was happy to read in the test feedback that one student from 8-2 now “completely understood about Archimedes’ Principle.”
I think it was a successful quiz. I will use this format again for quizzes, but will not use it during an exam. A few students really didn’t like this format at all, and a very small group did worse this time than they normally do on quizzes. They can rewrite the quiz on their own. One student commented “I wish we could have picked our groups. I did the work.” Another student admited; “I did feel a little stupid because I only knew some and they did all.”
I was hoping that you might learn some new test taking strategies from your classmates. You suggested that “it’s a good way for different people to learn different ways of learning.” Another said I had gotten you “to work together and come up with different answers but discuss to get one full answer.” Another commented that “I probably did better because I could discuss it.”
This is a cross-posting from the Science Questions Blog that I use with my grade 8 Science classes.