Project introduction and background information
In this project, self-tests were combined with video, so that students would learn new things and test their knowledge. Depending on their test results, they can decide whether or not to go to the lectures. Two self-tests, including instructions, were developed and used in the course. It was compulsory for students to take part in the self-tests. The first self-test was well designed. The second self-test, however, could do with some improvement in layout and number and contents of the questions. Due to a lack of time, this second self-test was not yet completely fine-tuned when running the course.
Objective and expected outcomes
We definitely achieved the aim of offering a more active learning tool to students. Whether we achieved the aim of accommodating students with variation in pre-knowledge, and offering them individual learning paths, is difficult to say. Due to some changes in the curriculum (a course that usually preceded my course had moved to a later stage in the curriculum) all students had significantly less pre-knowledge compared to previous years. Because of this, almost all students decided to join the preparatory lectures, no matter their results on the self-tests. In that respect, it was good to have the self-tests, because it offered students an extra learning opportunity now they did not have the other course as preparation for my course any longer.
Results and learnings
Students appreciated the self-tests, they like to test their knowledge and they like the idea of being able to judge beforehand if they should attend a lecture. Moreover, when students have to read something in order to answer the questions, it is more easy to get them to read those things (and really pay attention). Also, it is easy to monitor through Blackboard if all students completed the tests, and because the answers are already in the system, it takes no extra time for the teachers to correct the tests.
I would advise to consider using self-tests in Blackboard. Not only to give students the option to test their knowledge, but also to teach them things by offering information that they need to digest before answering the self-test questions.