Using Quizzes for Education

In response to COVID-19, Interact is currently free for all schools. Here are all of the details on how to best use Interact quizzes for education.

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Interact’s paid version is now free for all schools for 90 days. Contact us at help@tryinteract.com to get access.

We are living in an unprecedented time. Around the world people are under orders to stay home and children no longer have formal education to rely on. I spoke with my younger brothers the other day and they said their school is basically participation-only at this point, meaning that if you turn something, anything in, you’ll get full credit. It made me sad to think that the education disparity that is already so rampant in the world is just going to get worse as the divide between those who are able to continue education in these circumstances and those who cant will continue to grow.

Now I want to stop for a minute and address what’s going on right now. We are all affected by it and my heart goes out to those who are sick and hurting right now, there are no words to express the heartache that will rise from that. Personally, my best friend works in an emergency room and each day feels scary as he puts his life in danger for the greater good. I know that’s just one story and we all have one during this time.

On the education front, I know firsthand what it’s like to try and learn from home, I was homeschooled until 8th grade and my educational experience was very different from nearly everyone I know. It was marked by self-teaching and textbook learning rather than interaction and collaboration. There are pros and cons to this, and one of the big positive aspects is the ability to absorb and retain knowledge on your own. In this time of social distancing a skill like self teaching will be more important than ever.

As a kid the thing that really stood out to me was that the lessons I really remembered were the ones I enjoyed, the ones that were fun. I remember we did science experiments every Friday (I still remember learning how a tornado works from water in a bottle being spun around), and I vividly remember what Bird’s nest soup is because I thought the idea of bird’s nests being made out of spit was fascinating. The common thread through all of the things I really remember from growing up is that each one was fun, if something was enjoyable I’d remember it.

Art Quizzes

The general idea with using quizzes in school is that you have students write the quizzes to show learning of a subject. If there’s one thing we’ve learned about quizzes over the years it’s that writing a good quiz requires a deep understanding of the subject at hand.

If you think back to your school days you can probably remember one or two (or more) assignments that you didn’t really gain a deep understanding on but were able to skate by because you could fill in the gaps for a presentation or book report.

The same really isn’t true for quizzes, if you want to make one that is accurate, enjoyable, and comprehensive you must know the subject in its entirety. This makes it the perfect way to teach a subject, have the student make a quiz on a specific subject you are trying to teach and make it a challenge to make it as accurate as possible in the case of a personality quiz and make it as challenging as possible in the case of an assessment.

Business Studies Quizzes

There are many fundamental aspects of business that must be taught but may not have the most “fun” associated with them. Take learning PowerPoint, which is a vital skill for many professions but isn’t something that most people would look forward to. Turn it into a challenge by having students make a quiz about it and see if they can stump each other (and you).

English Quizzes

This category is the most fun in my opinion. Also it’s super effective to make sure students actually know a subject. It’s pretty much impossible to cheat on making a character quiz out of a book because you have to make it unique and correctly understand the characters in a book to be able to tell people which character they are most similar to.

On the more practical side, if you’re learning the elements of writing and want to see if students really understand the various types of writing, you can have them make a writing style quiz in which they ask you questions about your preferences in how you write and then tell you which writing style matches up to you. Again, you really need to know the subject matter to get this one done well.

Reimagine the book report as a quiz. I’ve seen entire classrooms assigned to make quizzes on a particular book and then take each others’ quizzes to see how they did. This is incredibly fun and also makes learning on feel like learning.

Another awesome example from a book that turns into a quiz making assignment. I remember reading To Kill a Mockingbird in school and not really paying attention (confession time), but if I was assigned to make a quiz I’d have to understand the characters well enough to create connections between the questions and the characters at the end.

Flip the script and have your students quiz you on grammar, make the student the teacher and empower them to come up with questions you can’t answer, they’ll have to dig deep and fully grasp the rules of grammar to find difficult examples.

Geography Quizzes

Want to make sure your students actually know about the national parks? One-up flash cards and have them make a quiz to tell you which national park you should visit. They’ll need to know about climate, attractions, locations, and the type of people who enjoy each park in order to make this quiz accurate and engaging.

If you’re studying a particular country have the students make a quiz about it. In my family we do this every year on Christmas Eve, we pick a country, make all the cuisine from it for dinner, and then do live trivia while we eat. It’s super memorable and I remember more about those countries we’ve covered than places I’ve actually visited. As the final step of learning a country have your students make a quiz on it to test their overall knowledge of the place.

Health Quizzes

I was watching Ugly Delicious the other day (highly recommend by the way), and on the show they had a feature on school lunches. They were comparing Japanese elementary schools to American ones, and the education they were giving Japanese students about portion control, eating fruits and vegetables, and the right balance of nutrients for a meal was incredible. These are things I feel like I still don’t know as an adult and these kids are learning them at 10 years old.

One way to teach principles of healthy eating is to have students make a quiz on what natural eating really is, here’s an example of how to do that.

Another take on the same concept is to have students create quizzes seeing if you can differentiate between a healthier choice and a less healthy choice.

History Quizzes

Many of us learn history through flashcards and presentations, my high school history teacher used to say “during this period of time” so much that most of us spent more time recording the number of times he would say that phrase during class than we did actually paying attention to what was being taught (the record was 55 times in one hour by the way). Make history interactive by having students create a personality quiz on what role you would play in a major world event like the Vietnam War.

Or test their knowledge of Greek philosophy by having them make a personality quiz on which philosopher you would be. To be honest I struggle to remember the difference between Plato and Aristotle (please don’t judge me) but if I had to make a quiz that would tell you which one you are rest assured I would know.

Mix art and history by having students create a quiz on which painter you would be. This will totally change the way they look at paintings in a museum next time they visit and spark more of an interest in the artist that is recommended as their result.

Switch things up and do a trivia quiz on a historical subject. Coming up with questions to stump the teacher is the perfect way to turn learning into a challenge.

Turn to mythology and have students create a personality quiz on which Greek God or Goddess you are. This one will bring in all aspects of the myth because they’ll need to encapsulate both physical and mental aspects into their logic.

Do you remember learning all of the presidents? How many do you remember now? One way to cement the knowledge of presidents in students’ minds is to have them make a quiz to figure out which one you are most like (and you mix in some politics, for extra fun do this on a current debate or political situation).

Math Quizzes

Turn math into fun by having students make a personality quiz about what formula they most resemble in life. Or do a trivia quiz on multiplication or division problems.

Music Quizzes

Learn music the fun way by testing other peoples’ knowledge of the subject. The fun thing about quizzes is that you can share the link with anyone regardless of location so it’s an awesome way to get friends and relatives involved with your schoolwork and make it a community thing!

Science Quizzes

There is so much you can do with science and quizzes. It’s the perfect subject for creating trivia and personality quizzes. This first example asks you to name flower varieties by just looking at pictures, this is awesome (take this one yourself it’s really fun and well done). You can make picture quizzes easily right within interact.

When I was a kid we used to drive to a wild bee co-op and buy honey straight from the source. It was amazing to me and I developed a fascination to learn everything I could about bees. Spark that same kind of curiosity by having students make a quiz to see if they can stump you with their knowledge of bees or any other subject.

I love this one because it makes a complete game out of the elements which are really hard to remember. Correlate learning to something fun like basketball or TV shows and make sure your students really know the subject so they can get it right.

Have students make a personality quiz on butterflies, they’ll need to know a whole lot more than just what the butterflies look like if they want to make this one accurate.

Have students create trivia on earth and space, make sure they include all aspects and set a minimum question threshold so they’ll have to dig deep into the textbooks and pull out obscure facts.

Last but not least, something I still don’t have a strong grasp on, have them do an alligator/crocodile quiz or a whale type quiz or a shark type quiz or anything where they must demonstrate a deep understanding of nature and science.

Interact’s paid version is now free for all schools for 90 days. Contact us at help@tryinteract.com to get access.

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