Last week I got to visit a fourth grade classroom. Since this was the first time this group and the teacher were trying out this type of assessment, I was there to help out. The students took a quiz through the app called eClicker Audience on their iPads. The teacher had prepared the questions and answers on the eClicker Presenter app and as a group they took the "live" quiz. Everything worked out just fine! The teacher and the students were very excited about this "interactive" quiz they had just taken for the first time. I was about to leave, when the teacher asks me if it would be possible for the kids to create their own quizzes? I said, "Yes, absolutely!" So I returned the next day with the iPads again.
Wow! All it took was a little explaining and demonstration of what to do. They quickly got the hang of it. The difficult part for them now was to come up with good questions and answers. Once they individually finished their questions, they sat in small groups. Following a round-robin procedure, they each took turns in becoming the presenter and having the rest of their group become the audience. It was a little tricky, because there were about 5 presenters at any given moment and this could get messy. But it didn't. It worked perfectly fine!
During all this time I was observing the students and it got me thinking. This is a perfect example of students exhibiting the 4C's skills of the 21st century: Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, and Critical thinking. No wonder I've always liked these types of activities in which the students get to design their own questions. I find it challenging for them to know that their audience will be their very own classmates. The level of difficulty increases because they need to really push their thinking and develop great questions with even more challenging multiple answers that will also make their classmates think hard.
I believe that providing the setting for these types of activities in which the students take ownership of their learning, co-assess themselves, and reflect on their understanding, will take them one step closer to becoming independent learners.