Student Generated Test Questions

Have students devise their own test or examination questions. This gives you insight into what your students have identified as being the most important course material, what they consider to be useful questions, and how well they can answer these questions.

Your students are engaged in actively processing the course materials while, at the same time, you as lecturer may be presented with wealth of good examination questions!  

Activity goal
Exchange knowledge | Recap / Summarize
In class | Post class | Pre class
Hybrid | Offline | Online
< 10 minutes| < 30 minutes
Group size
Small | Medium | Large

Canvas. Socrative, Tricider, Mentimeter, Kahoot, Padlet

Step 1

Determine whether you want to use this teaching method as individual activity or as an activity in pairs (see extra information).

Step 2

At the end of the lecture, give the students around 10 to 15 minutes to devise one or more examination questions that cover the explanation you have given in the lecture. You can have students develop both closed (e.g. multiple choice) and open questions. If you use open questions, also ask the students to produce model answers.

Step 3

Have the students return the examination questions and model answers that they developed as ‘exit ticket’ at the end of the session. This can be done both physically on paper and via an online tool.

Variation 1 - Pairs

You can also set up this activity in pairs. Put people into pairs, but have them each formulate an examination question individually. Then have the two students from each pair exchange their questions and answer each other’s questions. The pairs can then discuss the answers together.  You could transform this into a Think-Pair-Share

You can also ask a group of students to collect all examination questions and enter them in an online quiz tool. The students can then do the quiz together during a subsequent teaching session or at home, after the session.

Variation 2 - Quiz as lecture

Not only are questions a good way to activate students, you can also use these in giving a lecture. You can do this as follows:

  1. Have the students send a few questions about the teaching material 1 or 2 days prior to the lecture. Make a selection of the questions that you think best cover the subject matter and, if necessary, add any additional questions on difficult topics. 
  2. During your lecture, have the students first answer each question individually, via a polling tool such as a Tricider or online via the Zoom polling function. After this, give them a short amount of time (1 or 2 minutes) to answer the question again with a co-student or using literature. 
  3. Then present the different answers to the questions and use these to discuss the subject matter. You can now assess the knowledge level and give more explanation, where necessary. 

Variation 3 - Pubquiz

Have the students produce a quiz about the teaching material. The students can get together outside the lecture rooms, actively discussing and summarising the subject matter of that week, or of a course, in the form of a pub quiz.

Consider the tools and materials mentioned here as suggestions. In many cases it’s possible to use alternative tools. Please turn to the Learning & Innovation team of your faculty (EUR or EMC) first to see which online and offline tools are available and how to apply them. 

You can collect questions online via the discussion forum in Canvas, via a digital ‘notice board’ such as Padlet or via shared documents. Use quiz tools such as Mentimeter (select Multiple-Choice or Open-Ended), Kahoot or Socrative to have the students answer the questions in the same way as a pub quiz.

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