Knowledge-based quizzes

Contact Steve Erickson for more information about this technique

Advantages of knowledge based quizzes for homework:

  • Builds student knowledge so that you can complete more technical revision during the lesson
  • Students do not spend significant amounts of homework time stuck and unable to do something
  • Parents and other family members and friends can help with the revision without having to worry about knowing what to do
  • Students are better prepared for exams because they know more stuff!
  • Better for students to complete essays under timed conditions in school rather than spend an hour on a question that they might only have 15 minutes to complete in an exam
  • Marking is easy
  • You can see easily where gaps are in student knowledge and use this to inform future teaching / quizzes

How to set knowledge based quizzes:

  • Students should be given both the questions and the answers when you set the quiz
  • It is better for students at this stage not to be looking up answers themselves as this takes time and is not necessarily an activity that will help their exam performance
  • By giving the questions and answers, it is easy for others to help students revise
  • You are in control of the information that students are accessing

Doing the quizzes:

  • During the lesson that the quiz is due to be done, carry it out!
  • Students could write answers on paper or in back of books and self / peer mark
  • Students could write answers on mini whiteboards and hold answers up
  • It is good to randomise the order in which you ask the questions. This stops students from memorising the answers in order without looking at the questions
  • Use i-Behave. Students who get top marks get a Good News Report

 Example of a knowledge based quiz (used in history)

Cuban Missile Crisis Quiz: You know the drill…

1. Approximately how far is Cuba from the United States? (160km)
2. What was the name of the US backed Cuban leader at the time of the revolution? (General Batista)
3. Why and how did the Americans support Batista? (He was anti-Communist, they provided military and economic support)
4. When did Castro finally overthrow Batista? (January 1959)
5. Name 6 things Castro did in his first hundred days in office. (Cut rents by 50% for low wage earners, confiscated property owned by Batista and his ministers, nationalised the telephone company and reduced rates by 50%, redistributed land among the peasants, abolished separate facilities for blacks and whites)
6. Give 3 ways that Castro improved the lives of ordinary Cubans (Provided free education for all, trained new doctors and made them work across the country, provided a massive, free inoculation programme so that more babies survived)
7. How many Cubans are estimated to have been murdered during Batista’s seven year reign? (20,000)
8. What happened to those who were found to have been involved in these murders? (600 of them were executed. This shocked the world)