Online Testing – Generating Unique Tests per Student

Most online learning management systems have quiz creation tools with unique settings on them to insure unique test generations per student; consequently, online teachers can deliver unique instances of their tests or quizzes to their students so that cheating possibilities are limited.  These capabilities are allowing instructors to rethink the test taking time in more traditional settings also and many teachers in hybrid and on campus courses are beginning to set up quizzes and tests for remote test taking too.  If you are planning upon implementing this strategy in your course, make sure that you implement some of the most common settings of your quiz tool in your course management system.

One important feature setting is simply time.  Setting the timer for a student who takes your test is important.  By limiting the time a student may be involved with your test, you are forcing the student to be well prepared with the knowledge prior to taking your test.  Do not be lenient with this time as you can make exceptions for individual needs by allowing special access for an individual or letting another individual retake the test if needed.

Additionally most learning management systems allow you to randomize quiz question answers and quiz question order.  Because these systems just need you to specify a correct answer, you can manipulate the test engine to produce a random order of questions and a random order of question answers per question of an individualized student test.  For example, student A could have question 1 with answer B as correct, but student B would have that same question appear as question 9 with answer C as correct.  The power of computing gets harnessed when these settings are applied, and students will have to concentrate upon their own test and own test answers instead of their friend’s test.

Furthermore most course management system quiz tools are allowing you to take a set of questions from a pool of questions.  Which means that you are able to create unique sets of questions based upon many questions of the same value.  Many teachers are combining textbook questions with their own personalized questions and they are finding that they have too many questions for a test.  Consequently, if valued properly a teacher could have the computer select a set of questions from that pool of questions.  For example, two students could receive different questions or some partially different questions on a test instance that selects ten questions from a pool of twenty questions.

With all of the above solutions applied, you can begin to see how a test could be unique per student.  A student could have a unique set of questions in a unique order with unique answer orders that have to be completed in a limited amount of time.  Thus eliminating reasons for students to even try to collaborate on your exam because there are too many factors that would create false or antiproductive cheating scenarios.  For further information or more detailed examples please feel free to email me directly upon this topic.  I like the way computer science can be applied to test questions, tests, and test settings to create a unique environment that gets graded automatically.

Next time, I will discuss creating unique projects for your students to lower the chances of cheating.  It is all in the language that you use, the expectations that you created, and the objectives of the assignment.


IPAD with a Smartboard

As I approach my 35th day at CHA, I am learning that we are celebrating our 35th year and participating in some celebration activities that not only celebrate our school wide theme but also CHArt the future of our new campus.  As I pause to reflect prior to this day, I am thankful for the overwhelming support that I have received from my new colleagues, my new administration, and new school.  There is an abundance of educational technologies available for students, faculty, staff, and me at Chatsworth Hills Academy.In my classroom I am settling in with my SMART board and starting to use more interactive content that is motivating for the students.  I also use it as traditional media presenter which is great for foreign languages.  Most recently I incorporated a story memorization activity with the app Comic Life on the IPad.  Students were able to retell the story with pictures of themselves telling the story.  These projects turned out nicely, and parents were excited to see their sons and daughters smiling faces while learning Spanish.

In closing I wanted to remind that I am using RenWeb, Wikispaces, Google docs, and most recently a Droopal site for class this year.  I have not felt this motivated since Graduate School at San Diego State where I earned a master’s degree in Educational Technology.  What a September!  I can’t wait to see how the rest of the year develops.

Three Graduations : Thank You All

This year I had a very unique opportunity to participate in three different graduations from three different perspectives. As most of you know, I have recently graduated from San Diego State with a master’s degree in educational technology; and therefore, I walked through the traditional ceremony at Cox arena so that I could sense the end of a long journey. As most of my students and colleagues know, I also walked as part of the graduation ceremony at the Bishop’s School to witness the end of a long road for some wonderful students who are embarking upon great careers in college. Lastly , as only a few know, I also participated as a proud parent when my son graduated from preschool this past Wednesday.

Needless to say, the graduation that was the most important and moving to me was the one this past Wednesday. My son sang a few songs and danced a few dances with his friends. He then received his diploma from some truly outstanding teachers at Early Explorations. Preschool is such an amazing experience for children. They grow so fast and yet have so much more to learn.

Three graduations with three totally unique experiences. I only had tears at one, but I am glad that I respectfully attended all. I don’t think I will have another year like this one, but I do know that great opportunities lie ahead. I will exercise patience as those factors, opportunities, and moments in time begin to reveal themselves. Thank you San Diego State, The Bishop’s School, and of course Early Explorations in Encinitas, CA.

Using podcasts as an instructional platform

Today, I am finishing a class on podcasting at San Diego State University, and the class taught by Bernie Dodge and Karl Richter explored the theme of using audio podcasts as a platform for instruction. After a systematic design of a script, hours of audio capturing, a little music creation, and hours of digital editing, I created my first audio podcast that targets Dads who are looking for ways to create memorable and educational moments with their children. The pod cast is called Adventures with Dad, and I would appreciate feedback upon this first podcast. Your comments will influence the direction of this idea.


The Beginning of the Beginning

I just saw that one of my contemporaries from the eighties has his own blog (that would be the first MC known as Hammer), and I decided that it was time for this MC to get started with a blog about educational technology. I am at the end of a long road studying Educational Technology at San Diego State University, and I would think it reasonable to believe that since SDSU is granting me a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology that I may have something important, interesting, and slightly motivating to say about it. Please continue with me along this journey to find the truth about educational technologies and the possibilities of a better education for everyone.