< Back to Classroom - Designing Instruction

Ungraded Quiz

Formative Ungraded Quiz

Props/Prep: Yes
Time: 5-15 min
Audience: Any
Physical: No

This technique involves preparing questions or a quiz at the beginning of class. This allows you to determine how familiar students are with important terms, facts or concepts prior to the lecture, while a quiz that follows a lecture segment can reveal how well students understood the material. It provides the teacher with instant feedback related to student understanding and content gaps. Provides students with instant feedback related to content learned and areas of concern. May clarify students' questions. 

An ungraded quiz encourages students to pay attention during lectures by presenting them with a short-term, non-threatening learning objective. It can be done very quickly, and also provides you with a source of candid feedback on students’ knowledge level.

Time requirements: 5-15 minutes

Materials needed: Quiz

Procedure:

  • Present question(s) on a slide, or handout.
  • Give students five to ten minutes to respond on a blank sheet of paper (depending on the atmosphere in the class, you may keep the quiz anonymous or ask students to put their names on papers).
  • Collect papers and report on responses next time the class meets.
  • One variation: Prepare multiple-choice answer options and present each one in turn, asking for a show of hands.
  • Another variation: Before (or instead of) collecting quiz papers, have students exchange and "grade" each other’s quiz papers based on the answers you present. This grading is to allow students to provide the students with timely feedback, so that they can gauge their understanding and should not be used as a formal assessment.

Function in the class: Use ungraded quizzes at the beginning of a lecture to determine the level of knowledge, or at the end of a lecture as a review and incentive for students to retain. Alternatively, use an ungraded quiz at the end of a lecture to gauge how successful you’ve been in teaching the material.