Why our clients use Learnclick for creating quizzes

Learnclick can be used in all kinds of scenarios, although the main usage is for language teaching.

We asked our clients to give us some feedback on how and why they use Learnclick. Here are some of the answers:


I use Learnclick primarily in an ESL classroom setting or in online materials that my students can access by themselves through our college’s Moodle platform.

Most of my quizzes are gap-fill ones with a few drag-n-drops too.

Gary L.


I have been using Learnclick for the past three years to teach Reading Comprehension to ESL and ELL students. The main focus is to help them pass an exam which is a requirement for enrollment to and graduation from undergraduate and graduate programs at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), the biggest and most prestigious university in the country.

Basically, we have classroom sessions throughout the semester and I assign homework in Learnclick. I chose Learnclick as my to-go tool for two reasons: 1) it has a great set of testing options that allow me to closely simulate and monitor exam conditions; and 2) it’s been around for a while, with great reviews (I did my research and tried other services before settling down).

I’ve got to say that you have great support. When things weren’t working correctly and I contacted you, the reply was quick and honest.

Erik


I am using learnclick.com for something totally different: to collect data for my dissertation project! Participants first complete a background questionnaire on Qualtrics and then they are directed to learnclick.com to take the test I developed for them. The reason why I use learnclick.com is that it is the best online test platform for the test type I am using. My test type is C-test where second halves of each second word are deleted in a paragraph. There are not many platforms where I can embed this type of a test except for hot potatoes. However, I found hot potatoes very complicated. On the other hand, learnclick.com is very user-friendly. Also, my test is Turkish and learnclick.com allowed the participants to choose Turkish special characters when necessary while completing the gaps. Furthermore, contacting you whenever I had an issue while putting my test online was very useful.

Merve


Learnclick is also used for teaching history, science and even math. Some companies use Learnclick for testing their employees on internal procedures, etc.

Take a look at some of the quizzes some of our clients have created: https://www.learnclick.com/site/clients

Things to consider when assigning online homework

Assigning homework should be to give students further practice and be purposeful. Don’t give homework just because that’s something that one “does”. In this article we are going to explore some ways how homework can be done online and why this might be useful as well as what possible downsides could be.

1) Let’s start with the obvious one: Having students submit their answers online will save you as a teacher lots of time with grading. On Learnclick.com you can easily create all kinds of question types, like gap-filling exercises, drag & drop quizzes as well as open-ended questions that can be annotated online. The answers will get automatically graded and you get a nice overview that let’s you quickly see with which questions students struggled.

2) Assigning quizzes online is also an advantage for the student as he gets instant feedback on which answers were right and wrong, provided you don’t disable this option. If he got the answer wrong, you can provide an explanation which will help the student understand the material better.

One of the disadvantages of allowing unlimited submissions is that it may encourage lazy habits, that is, the student re-submits the answer without thinking until he gets the correct answer. So you might consider limiting the number of attempts he gets.

3) A further advantage of assigning online homework is that you can link or embed multimedia elements like audio and video. Pictures can of course be in color whereas with paper homework you might just print them out in black and white.

A disadvantage of online homework that could be considered is that students might easily be distracted by other things when working on their computer. For example they might feel the urge to check their friends Facebook page or watch a video. However, most students will anyways use the internet for looking up explanations or asking their friends for help. This is something that a teacher can’t control outside of the classroom.

4) There are less books to carry as the student can look up material online. He won’t be able to forget his books at school or at home. Of course students can bring up the excuse that internet didn’t work at home, but that excuse won’t work every time…

Make sure that students know how to use the various online tools. Demonstrate it to them during class time and if possible give them some time to practice before they go home.

The Personal Correction Robot

Recently one of our users wrote the following at the start of her quiz:correction-robot-1fxahhh-1hqtanl

“The right/wrong questions on this quiz will be corrected by my own personal correction robot. The written (or typed) questions will be corrected by me. Only then will your final score be known.

This is an example of the happy cooperation of artificial intelligence and old-fashioned teacher brain, working in harmony. My correction robot works with phenomenal speed, giving you immediate feedback. I plod along like a middle-aged woman (funny, that).

Sometimes, my correction robot is a little lacking in intuition. She will mark you wrong, for instance, if you misspell a word. Don’t worry, if I notice that this has happened to you, I shall override her and give you full marks; that is, so long as the word you have misspelt bears some resemblance to the correct answer.

So take it easy and don’t stress if you make a small insignificant error. Human intuition is still involved and my aim is to award you as many points as possible.

Kind regards and best wishes from your (old-fashioned) teacher and your (up-to-the-minute) correction robot.”

(By Roslyn G, used with permission)

I found this quite funny and thought I’d explain how things work in the background.

If you are a pro member, like this user is, than you can have the answers recorded. You can either create a class, share the quiz with Google Classroom or have anonymous answers recorded (you can ask for the name at the beginning of the quiz).

You can decide if users get immediate feedback and see the score or not.

In any case, as a teacher you will see the given answers by clicking on the “Grade” icon in your dashboard:

If you create a cloze test, where students have to write the answer in the gaps themselves, you can have multiple correct answers (useful for alternate spellings):

Separate the alternative correct answers with #. Highlight the whole group of words before clicking the “Create gap word” button.

Examples:
Yellow is a bright color#colour
I live here#there#at home.

The “correction robot” will now mark both options as correct.

NEW: If your students submitted the answers and you noticed that some students entered another spelling and you didn’t add that to the alternative spellings, you can now add it later using the hashtag and when you save the quiz, it will automatically update the score and the answer will now display for all students who used this different spelling as correct.

Note, when answers have already been submitted and you want to edit a quiz, you get this warning:

warning

This warning means, that you shouldn’t add additional questions or clozes, but you may still do some changes to the formatting, rephrase a question or add alternative answers as mentioned above.

Finally, this teacher mentioned that written questions will be corrected by her. She is referring to the open-ended/essay questions. The answers for these questions can also be annotated inside Learnclick, by going to the details page (clicking on “username”) on the grade page.

Learnclick can save time grading. Use these options and ask us if anything remains unclear.

6 ways to test your students listening comprehension

Make sure you include a variety of listening material for practice, e.g. songs, news, dialogues, etc. They should get exposed to different accents and voices. Try to find material that interests them.

In order for students to improve their listening skills, it’s not enough to just have them listen passively. They must be active in their listening and think of answers, opinions, etc. Here is a list of question types you can create.

  1. Use multiple choice quizzes to check for meaning. For example, ask what the meaning of an idiom is that was used in the recording.
  2. Use open-ended why questions. For example “Why did the man not have time for eating lunch?”
  3. Who said what? Write down a sentence that was in the dialogue and use the multiple choice question type to list all the possible people who might have said that sentence.
  4. Which statements are true? Use the question type “Checkboxes (several answers correct)” and have several correct and wrong answers.
  5. Ask your students to fill in the blanks. This will help them focus on the text at word level. They can help students with learning new vocabulary or grammar points. dropdownThe text can either be taken directly from the transcript or you can make up your own, based on the transcript. If the goal isn’t for students to practice their writing, you can also have them choose from a dropdown or use the drag & drop question type.
  6. Have them write an essay where you ask them about their opinion.

With learnclick.com you can not only create all the question types mentioned above easily, but you can also embed videos from youtube or upload a mp3 file to our server and have it play inside the quiz.

example

As a pro member you can have the answers recorded. If you choose to ask open-ended/essay questions, you can annotate the text and have the students view your feedback as a pdf file.

 

Need help with creating a quiz?

The Learnclick Quiz Creator is more versatile than you might think…

Recently a teacher asked the following question:


What would be the best way to set up the type of question below.

Identify the subject and verb in the sentence below:table


Our answer:

I suggest using the question type Generated Dropdowns.

You can simply paste your table into the textbox and then create some empty spaces (for the wrong answers) and mark those plus the correct answers as gaps:

generated-dropdowns-edit
This is how it will look like:
generated-dropdowns-show
Not sure how to create a question? Feel free to ask us.

Creating Quizzes with Rich Text Formatting

I still see a lot of teachers asking about how to format their quizzes with Google Forms. We wrote an article some time back on why Learnclick might be an alternative to Google Forms. Since Google Forms still does not support rich text editing like making a text bold, italics, underline, or changing the font color, I wanted to highlight that you can do all these things and more with learnclick.com.

Formatting with Learnclick.com

Formatting with Learnclick.com

The best part is that you can just copy your text from Microsoft Word or Libre Office and paste it into the textbox and most of the formattings are taken over. Even tables you created in your word processor or Excel can be copied over. If you want to preserve the background color of a table, it’s best to use the free program Libre Office.

You can also insert math symbols. See Formatting your Quiz Questions.

You can also insert images, sound or embed videos into a Learnclick quiz. See multimedia help.

Visit our homepage and take the guided tour and learn about the many features Learnclick offers, while remaining a very easy to use tool.

Embed quizzes into your homepage and record answers

Creating quizzes for embedding into a website has been possible for some time now. How to find the embed code (iframe) is explained here. You can find a number of quizzes that are embedded this way on some of the websites created by our users: http://www.learnclick.com/site/clients.

We’re excited about our new feature that let’s you record the user input.
Record anonymous answers

Have you ever wondered how many of your site visitors actually try to take a quiz and if they managed to answer most of the questions correctly? You could also use this feature for creating surveys… Find out more about recording anonymous answers.

Cloze learning is good; Cloze Learning works; and ‘Levels of processing’ is a key reason why

Guest post by Mark Souter, psychology and sociology teacher

Running classroom experiments can be even more problematic for psychology teachers than it is for chemistry and physics teachers. Whilst we do not have to worry about fire and acid, the chances of something going awry in terms of an unexpected result are much higher. Given the difficulty in isolating the many variables of humanity, and the practical and ethical difficulties of pushing people into a test tubes, demonstrating cause and effect can be tricky. We have our old standby of the ‘Stroop effect’, which is based on a reliable, almost physiological effect. I have different but equally reliable experiment, which also makes a powerful point about learning. It is based on ‘levels of processing’ (Craik and Lockhart, 1972). One thing I must not do is tell the students what the experiment is about beforehand, but (SPOILER ALERT!) for the purposes of this blog, here comes that explanation.


Figure 1 (source)

Different types of Information are processed by the brain at different levels. At the lowest level there is visual information. In the experiment this is triggered by asking participants to answer questions about the appearance of a word. For example, they are shown the word EGG, and asked “Does this word contain the letter ‘E’?”(part of the briefing before the start is that there are no trick questions, and an obvious answer will be correct). At the next processing level is auditory information. For example, the word ‘should’ is shown, followed by the question “Does this word rhyme with ‘wood’?” The highest level is semantic, though the questions remain purposefully easy. They might be shown the word “ROBIN” followed by the question “Is this a type of bird?”

A further control is to emphasise that this is not a test of any individual. Students at this stage of their learning can be extremely competitive. To reduce this as a factor, I disappoint and confuse them by insisting that their answer sheets are anonymous. If I am in a ‘Barnham’ mood I ostentatiously destroy all of the answer sheets, and then hand out another response form. This has list 30 words they were shown, mixed with another 30, randomly dispersed distractor items. (I once made the mistake of telling them this ratio and the scores increased to almost 100%, which is suggests interesting things about the difference between recollection and recognition but completely undermined the purpose of the experiment!) They have to check off words from the previous task, and they only get 2 minutes to do this. When the time is up I again insist that the response sheets remain anonymous. This especially confounds them because they wonder how I could generate comparisons without names. This is an important part of a psychology lesson as it emphasises a particular type of experimental design (‘within subjects’), but it also avoids ethical issues about revealing who did poorly in this task.

The results invariably show that the ‘deeper level’ questions, even though they are made easy, correspond to greater recall of the words they relate to. So strong is this effect that in a class of less than 20 students it is unlikely that anyone remembers more of the lower level question-word pairs (I usually lump them together for the sake of simplicity, but the longer version with all three types of question-word combinations the visual and auditory scores fall into line).

Levels of Processing and Cloze Tasks

The relevance of this for Cloze Tasks is that even apparently trivial levels of testing can be effective in increasing recall. When the student has to consider the meanings of words, they have to use thinking at the deepest level. In contrast, for example, a word-search task does not do this: I could get 10 year olds to complete a word search for Latin words, or even random strings of letters (though this would stretch short-term memory). Once the meaning of the word is involved a different level of learning is engaged. This is one reason why I like the ‘generate dropdowns’ feature for drop-down cues in Learnclick. Even though the correct answer may seem ‘obvious’ (for example when a noun is required and the other choices are adjectives or verbs) the student is exposed to other key terms because since they are automatically selected from elsewhere in the text.

It’s this easy – just click the ‘generated dropdown’ option! Here’s one I prepared earlier…

This effect may be more powerful for language teaching. For example, if the answer is selected by distinguishing terms through consideration of grammar (e.g. between verbs, connectives, pronouns etc.), the deep level processing of this aspect of language is going to be effective. I am a big fan of flash cards (which also work well as a web-based task), but Cloze Tasks add a deeper level of processing because they embed the words in a particular context. The context supports the thinking process as alternative solutions are contemplated, creating a virtuous circle of thinking. Furthermore, seeing the words in a full context also exposes the student to models of language use. This is as important for my psychology students (particularly in the context of a local culture that does not emphasise the important of literacy), as it might be for language teachers. I think the rest of the teaching profession has some important lessons to learn from our TEFAL/EAL colleagues, and the benefits of Cloze Tasks for learning (not just for teaching) is one of them!

The teacher still has an important task to manage – the level of difficulty needs to strike an important balance between being too easy or too difficult. Easy tasks are demotivating (and possibly even insulting!). Tasks which are too difficult are also demoralising (see ‘Learned Helplessness’ below). The ‘sweet spot’ is not necessarily mid-way between the two. There is evidence of a phenomenon called ‘learned industriousness’ where some degree of failure in the context of success at difficult tasks creates a greater sense of reward and this increased motivation.

Motivation is the key to learning. One of my (hyperbolic) homilies is that teaching people who do not want to learn is the worst job I’ve ever had, but teaching people who do want to learn is the best.

An outstanding tool for online formative assessment

This is a recommendation by Kim Pries, teacher of mathematics, computer science and biotechnology in Texas

I have used LearnClick for at least the last four years. I have also used Google Forms and EasyTestMaker. All three programs bring automated grading to teachers. However, LearnClick stands apart from the other two for several reasons:

* Reporting by student
* Reporting by quiz (helps with reteaching)
* Banking of test questions using the Moodle XML format
* Rostering of classes to prevent illicit logins
* Mathematical formulae
* Storage of images
* Cloze testing (students hate this, I love it!)
* Structure of classes

and more! I currently use LearnClick for all my testing needs because the product provides all the tools an active and forward-thinking teacher needs.

Additionally, Philip Perry continues to improve an already great product based often on user suggestions (within reason). He made some changes to default based on some of my suggestions. This approach is a level of customer service that no one else out there meets.

Please note that I am a happy customer of LearnClick and I receive no compensation for my comments.

Teaching with cloze tasks and spaced repetition

Ebbinghaus’s lessons – 130 years later computers make them easier to apply

Guest post by Mark Souter, psychology and sociology teacher

Lesson 1: The rule of five

Decades before the sub-discipline of cognitive psychology was named as such, Ebbinghaus demonstrated some of the essential aspects of memory. One of his most important findings was the ‘rule of five’. For a distinct item to become more or less fixed in memory it needs to be learnt on five occasions (there is a second aspect of this rule, which I will return to later).

This is not to say that something cannot be recalled with less exposure – world champions can memorise the sequence of 10 decks of cards within 20 minutes. Ebbinghous tested his recall of lists of ‘trigrams’, deliberately meaningless three letter combinations of consonant-vowel-consonant. Ebbinghaus found that each time he tested his recollection of a list of trigrams the proportion that he could recall increased at an accelerating rate until it reached 100% after five occasions (figure X).


Figure 1 – The Forgetting Curve: Repetitions (source)

This was not a futile abstraction; he established a good scientific procedure by isolating what he recognised was an important component of memory: the association of meanings. Clearly, learning by linking ideas is an essential and powerful part of learning (it is at the core of Vygotsky’s ZPD). What Ebbinghaus discovered remains important for teachers, especially those of us dealing with prescriptive curricula.

Whether prescriptive curricula are a good idea is a debate for another occasion. As it is I need to ensure that my students accumulate knowledge and understanding of a range of novel terms within less than nine months. This learning can (and needs to) take place within a meaningful context – the application of these concepts to everyday life, exceptional contexts, and within studies in social science. Even so, Ebbinghaus’s research helps to explain the ‘Chinese learner paradox and shows that abstracted learning has a powerful role to play in education. Regular repetition helps to establish both recall and understanding. Furthermore, regularly identifying and correcting what will be a reducing number of errors, can help our students to master a large number of concepts relatively rapidly.

Lesson 2: Spaced learning and the forgetting curve

There is a second pay off in Ebbinghaus’s discovery. The distance between each repeated episode of learning is more effective when it is spaced at increasing intervals. When it comes to some learning tasks it helps to leave an increasing gap between episodes. After the first exposure to the list of trigrams he found that the number of items he could recall would quickly fall off. Typically, he would forget about 50% of the items, though this would fall much further after two days. Each day’s delay caused a further fall, which described a more or less consistent pattern: the forgetting curve.


Figure 2: increasing time intervals and the forgetting curve (source)

He found a further pattern. When he reviewed and relearned the list the next day after first learning it, the next time he tested himself his recall was much more effective, he could recall 60-70%, even after more than 24 hours. Each time he re-learned the list he remembered a great proportion for a longer period of time. After five occasions he found he could recall the whole list of meaningless trigrams. This spaced repetition forms the basis for an effective learning strategy based on flash cards. A refinement is to sort the cards at the second learning sessions so that the cards that were not recalled are prioritized. Cloze tasks do something which is essentially similar to card sorting, but which raises the level of learning. Cloze tasks provide the chance for repetition in the context of full sentences and paragraphs. I am not going to argue for one or the other – the obvious thing would be to use both.

Spaced repetition – that’s what computers are good at…

This is just the sort of testing and organizing that computers are good at. Flash card exercises can all be done with physical cards and little boxes, cloze could be done with Tipex and a photocopier, but these are time consuming to make and replicate. Computers not only take the hassle out of tracking and sorting, they also take the hassle out of making and storing the cards. The same is true of cloze tasks.

… and this is what Learnclick is good at

A simple word-processing trick makes them easy to make and replicate (I’ll save that gem for another day) but with even less effort Learnclick can be used to generate a web page version; and (for lesson start ‘settlers’ and plenaries) illustrated hard copy versions. Online cloze tasks can also embed web links. I use these to a neat in-class or homework package: the student uses the link, reads the source, then completes the cloze.

At this point the practical advantages of online materials for the teacher become clear. I can just cut-and-paste a source; briskly write my own or (my favourite) give the students a list of key words that must be included plus a word count limit and get them to draft a ‘student friendly’ version – and learn for themselves as they create it. If an existing source selected rather than copied wholesale, and if due credit is given, and you do not charge anyone to use it, you should be safe from copyright issues in most jurisdictions. It would be safest (and polite!) to seek the approval of the publisher. I think it is likely that they will be more than happy, especially if their site uses ad revenue, since you will be steering traffic their way.

For the creation of the Learnclick cloze I had been using drag-and-drop, which is easy to generate. The disadvantage is that if you select more than three or four words the student has a lot of selecting to do, pushing the student into a large ZPD with little scaffolding. Drop down menus reduce the scope, but could add to the teacher’s burden in making distractor items (foils to the correct answer). This is where Learnclick’s new auto-drop down generator comes in. It intelligently selects words from the text.

This is a genius level feature: not only does it make it much quicker, but it also has a pedagogic bonus. The student is constantly reminded of other relevant terms, whilst being forced to deep-level process the meanings of the foil terms too. Of course, if they recognise the correct term straight away, the processing of the foils will not be as deep, but then they will have learned the essential term and move quickly on to the next. If they struggle a little more their learning will be of necessity more profound, and all the more effective for that. It is just as quick as making a cloze with drag-and-drop, but it is pedagogically more sound, and it works better on smaller and touch-screen devices.

I’ll save the topics of ‘learned industriousness’ and ‘deep level processing’ for a future occasion! For now, I’ll sign off with the suggestion that you should try this out. Here are two example on the topic of learned helplessness to try out. One has answers that I created, the second has automatically generated examples.

Generating my own answers allows me to make points (for example put ideas about other this or studies as distractor items to reinforce recall of those topics). Automatically generated answers save time; they also make the task easier (i.e. stronger scaffolding for a new topic or for a struggling student); the distractor items are all from the other questions, which is another reinforce. The importance of this last point relates to ‘deep level processing’ (which does not have to be very deep!)

Note the ‘generate a pdf’ button on the top right (only appears for quiz creators). This is what I use to create paper based versions for classroom use.