Quiz-R-us: Re-conceptualizing quizzes to enrich blended learning in occupational therapy study lines

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In the latest years, the Danish school system has experienced an increasing digitization of learning practice at different levels. Consequently, teachers are actively exploring different approaches to integrate digital media in learning practices to activate their students. In Denmark two wide spread approaches are flipped classroom and blended learning. With the former the typical work flow between lecturing and homework is “flipped”, in the sense that students have to deal with textbooks and new topics on their own, while doing homework in the classroom together with their teachers (Graham et al 2012). With blended learning instead “a portion of traditional face-to-face instruction is replaced by web-based online learning ”. Starting from these premises, teachers are struggling to combine face-to-face lecturing with blended learning and flipped classroom approaches. In this context, tools for editing and answering quizzes, like Kahoot , have become popular in lower and higher education, in shared classroom activities and in individual self-evaluation after school.
Research in the field of blended learning has shown that these approaches bring positive results in relation to students’ engagement with the teaching material, as they are given the burden, but also the opportunity, of being responsible for their education. Moreover, classroom activities become more dialogic and interactive than it is observed in traditional lecturing settings (Caruso et al 2017). Similarly, research on the development of quizzes for schools has shown that quizzes are perceived as a practical tool both by teachers and pupils. Hence, innovative online quiz solutions have been proposed and tested in numerous schools, to keep track of pupils’ individual progress and to foster forms of peer/playful learning through collaboration and competition (Cook and Babon 2016).
This paper discusses a design-oriented study, aimed at exploring how current online quizzes support practices of blended learning and how they could be extended and re-conceptualized, to better enrich blended learning practices. Methodologically our study builds on User Centered Design (Coleman et al 2016) and Lean UX (Gothelf and Seiden 2016), so that we worked through an iterative process involving users in the process. We organized the design process in three iterations, cooperating with teachers and students from two educations in Occupational Therapy offered in the city of Odense, located in the Southern region of Denmark. For the bachelor level we worked with the University College Lillebaelt (UCL), and for the master level we involved the University of Southern Denmark (SDU). We also involved students from the bachelor program in Web Development at Lillebaelt Academy (EAL ), also located in Odense, with the role of designers and developers. During the first iteration of our study we conducted a set of interviews and we supervised EAL students in creating low-fidelity prototypes, which were evaluated in a workshop. During the second iteration, we supervised EAL students in developing high-fidelity prototypes, evaluated in the next workshop. During the third iteration, we (the authors) took charge of the design of a new prototype, leveraging on the feedback we gained from the previous iterations.
Our aim is to contribute to the theory of blended learning, from a reflection-in-action perspective (Schön 1995), in which quizzes shift from a self-evaluation to a reflective tool. According to Schön, students engage in project-based assignments, to build a repertoire of exemplars, which provide a basis for reflecting on the new cases they will meet in their professional practice.
During our study, we found that, despite teachers and students shared positive experiences with tools like Kahoot, they both described online quizzes as sometimes “dry” or “boring” or even as “not so meaningful” for reflections, as quizzes are used mainly for quantitative evaluations of terminology and basic concepts. Occupational Therapy teachers expressed their interest for having quizzes that could challenge their students to engage in qualitative, in-depth reflections, especially regarding the ethical dilemmas that they will face in their future profession.
Based on these insights, we propose to re-conceptualize online quizzes as non-linear narratives, so they become interactive representations of critical situations, taken from the practice of occupational therapy, where ethical dilemmas might arise. We extend quizzes from mainly boxes to tick, to including small games and simulations. Hence, we move towards a dialogic scenario, in which teachers edit quizzes to contribute to the creation of students’ repertoire of exemplars and provide foundation to their practice of reflection-in-action.
Title of host publicationLecture Notes in Computer Science
Publication date2018
StateAccepted/In press - 2018
SeriesLecture Notes in Computer Science