Commentary series: What are the different adaptive quizzes?

By Christian Skræm Juul Jensen, CTO at CanopyLAB

 

The Commentary series is a series of reflections on learning shared by the CanopyLAB
co-founders
Christian Skræm Juul Jensen and Sahra-Josephine Hjorth.



Before I dive into examples of some of the different types of adaptive quizzes, I just want to recap what adaptive learning is, so that we are all on the same page.

 

Adaptive learning is also referred to as individualised, personalized and non-linear. Most often, tools such as quizzes are used to measure what the student already understands, what students can understand with help and what they do not understand, and then a platform will (via super tricky algorithms and diagnostics) curate materials and exercises for the student.

 

Adaptive learning is also referred to as individualised, personalized and non-linear. Most often, tools such as quizzes are used to measure what the student already understands, what students can understand with help and what they do not understand, and then a platform will (via super tricky algorithms and diagnostics) curate materials and exercises for the student.

The theoretical foundation for most adaptive learning platforms is Lev Vygotsky’s, Soviet psychologist and social constructivist, Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD).

 

 

 

If we look at the adaptive learning market broadly, we see that most quizzes are based on three principles from research.

 

If we look at the adaptive learning market broadly, we see that most quizzes are based on three principles from research. Of course, it is impossible to say exactly how people have built their quizzes, because everyone is super secretive and act like they have invented the new recipe for Coca Cola. The three types are:

 

Repeat format
Difficulty format and
Confidence level

 

The repeat format adaptive quiz

This is a quiz where learners first go through the full flow of questions in for example a multiple choice quiz, and then they are given the questions they got wrong in addition to a smaller sample that they got right once more – in a circular pattern. There are many different variations of how companies do this. At CanopyLAB we are launching ours in November 2019.

 

How do I use it?

The repeat format allows the user to try again and again until they answer all the questions correctly! It is a great practice technique for learners, giving them more chances to find the correct answers, as well as further establishing knowledge about questions they already got right. You may know this type of flow well from learning apps such as Duolingo.

 

Difficulty format adaptive quiz

Adaptive quizzes serve as a way for students to practice the topic of study through questions that adapt to their skill level. The difficulty format adaptive quiz is a quiz where learners will move up or down in levels of difficulty depending on their ability to answer correctly. This process is not visible to learners as they will only see the questions given to them and not what level they are at, so as to not discourage them when they make mistakes. The difficulty format is more advanced than the repeat format. It adapts to the student’s level by giving a skilled student harder questions and a struggling student easier questions. By doing this, it claims to fight learning fatigue.

 

How do I use it?

A difficulty quiz is best placed at the end of a course, once students have had enough exposure to the materials. You have to create a minimum of 5-10 questions in each level of difficulty, for 5 levels of difficulty. At CanopyLAB we are launching our difficulty format adaptive quiz in November 2019.

 

Confidence level

The confidence format is the most advanced. It combines information on students’ level of understanding through quiz results and level of confidence which the students indicate in each answer. In this way, it claims to provide more in-depth insights into the students’ mastery of a subject matter. However, very little research actually backs this currently.

The simplest way to devise a confidence format adaptive quiz is to add a confidence score to the difficulty format adaptive quiz. Specifically, in asking learners to indicate their level of confidence in their given answer. In this way, confidence simply acts as another data point for learners and teachers ad HR to see. Characterized as highly experimental, we have no plans to implement the confidence level to our quizzes this year.

 


At CanopyLAB we designed a simple and social platform for digital learning experiences.

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