Testmoz a Simple Online Test Creator

I used Testmoz this past week in class and found it to be quite useful in simple summative assessment. This site provides an easy to use interface with all of the basic question types. Results are broken down by individual questions and by student scores. They do require a one time donation to the site to support them but then you are able make as many different quizzes and tests as you would like. Once your test is complete you can either embed the quiz on  your website or provide a link to the actual quiz on Testmoz. Both options seemed to work well for me.  This is definatley one to go into the teacher toolbox for me.

Check out Testmoz at : http://testmoz.com/

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Challenge Students With A Puzzle

Rubik's Cube in scrambled state

Image via Wikipedia

I am always amazed at how students will respond to a challenge. Over the the last year when students have completed their work, I have begun to use different puzzle websites to challenge them. I would say, “Hey, I heard that this is really hard puzzle and I don’t think many people have solved it why don’t you try to solve it?”  I was amazed at how many students step up to the plate and would try and solve these puzzles.  As they began to work on them and other students finished their work they would join them and before long I would have groups of 3 to 4 students engaged and working together to try and solve these puzzles.  It was fantastic to see and listen to the students interacting to solve a common goal.  Here are just a couple of the websites that I have used, give them a try you will be surprised at how engaged your students will become.

  1. Archimedes Laboratory
  2. Project Euler
  3. Brain Bashers
  4. Braingle
  5. Puzzles.com
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The Friday Mystery

Mysterynet.com is a great class opener website.  I have often used this on Fridays to engage and settle them down for class. This site has many different mysteries to solve. Typically, I would display a “Get a Clue” or “Solve It” mystery that the students could see as they enter the classroom. Once the bell rings I allow the students some time to try and solve the mystery. They become quite engaged in trying to figure out the mystery often well before the bell rings. This activity has led to some great class discussions about a variety of social topics but best of all it has engaged them and settled them down on a Friday afternoon so I can start my lesson.

Give it a try at the following address:  http://www.mysterynet.com

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Augmented Reality Post Five: Review of “Manifest Destiny” Game

Yesterday, I finally got to try out my Augmented Reality game, “Manifest Destiny“.  I was excited to give this a try and see how this new type of learning environment might work  with my students.  In the past I have run some short trial games to see how the software worked and all of the those tests the students seemed to really enjoy.  This was the first complete game with a specific learning target in mind that students had to completely discover on their own.  Students had no prior knowledge of the topic of “Manifest Destiny”.

GAME SETUP

The learning target for this game was: Students will be able to describe and define Manifest Destiny?

Students were given four questions to answer as they progressed through the game.

  1. What is Manifest Destiny?
  2. What are the three political factors influence the development of Manifest Destiny?
  3. What are the three social factors influence the development of Manifest Destiny?
  4. What are the three economic factors influence the development of Manifest Destiny?

Students were placed into groups of three and each student was a different character in the game. At each location each member of the team met a different historical figure.  The historical figure presented each student with some information. After the students listened to their historical character the students must then discuss what they have heard in their groups to get a complete answer.  Each member of the group received vital information that must be incorporated into the answer to each question.  Once they have answered their question the group then moves on to the next location.

Student Reaction

Students seemed to be very engaged in this type of learning environment.  They quickly learned how to use the device and how to use the interface of the program.  Both of these were concerns for me at the beginning of this exercise. Students really seemed to be enjoying themselves and all said that they would like to do this type of thing again.  Some of the complaints were that the questions were to hard.  They stated that they would like to just receive the answer and not have to try to figure it out at each location. Some said that they would like more interaction at each location.  they did not just want to be presented information at each place but rather interact with the device.

Assessment

In grading the assignment that went along with this activity all groups received a 70% or higher on the questions.  I felt as though the main learning target had been met by a majority of the class.  Something that might have worked out better was to not have the questions on the device but on a separate sheet of paper.  I did find that student engagement and motivation was very high for this activity.  However, the fact that this was a new activity with new technology might have a big part in the motivation.  All in all I thought that this type of learning environment showed a lot of promise.  I will be looking at doing another game shortly based off of what I learned from this game.

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Augmented Reality Post Four: My “Manifest Destiny” Game

Augmented Reality Game

Augmented Reality Game

Well, I have been off of the grid lately, working on a new augmented reality game for my students.  This game is designed to introduce them to Manifest Destiny.  There were two things that I was hoping to accomplish with this game. First, to introduce them to Manifest Destiny,  and second to get them working together.  This game is set up so each student in the group interviews a different character.   Each person in the group receives only a portion of the answer in their interview, making it necessary for  the students to work together to get the correct answer.  Each stop has a question that is presented to them at the beginning of the game that will be answered a long the way.

1. What is Manifest Destiny?
2. What are the three political reasons that influenced the development of Manifest Destiny?
3. What are the three economical reasons that influenced the development of Manifest Destiny?
4. What are the three social reasons that influenced the development of Manifest Destiny?

The entire game takes place on the back field of our school with a total of  four stops in the game.  I am very excited to try this game out on Monday. Wish me luck!

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Augmented Reality Experiment Post 3: “My First Game”

Mystery Animals

My First Augmented Reality game.

On Monday I tried out my first Augmented Reality game.  The objective of the game was for my students to learn a little information about the three major fur bearing animals of the Pacific Northwest.  The purpose of this game was two fold.  The first was that I wanted them to test the technology to see if they could interact with it.  The second was an introduction into our next unit on the fur trading era of the Pacific Northwest.

The only directions I gave them were on the purpose and organization of the game.  They were told that they were to discover three animals on the back football field.  At each location on the map they would find a description of an animal and an audio recording of the sound that animal makes.  It was their task to discover the name of that animal and convert that name into a code to unlock the next location on the map.  The hint for the code was A=1.  Students then went outside, opened the software, and began navigating the game, once they obtained a satellite signal.

Students seemed to have no trouble using the software to navigate through their game.  They were highly engaged and had to be persuaded to come into the building, when it began to rain.  Students were very motivated, almost driven, to get to the end of the game.  This was very interesting to me, since some of these students are not often motivated in class.   While I assume that some of the motivation was in the novelty of the situation, the game atmosphere did seem to motivate many of the students.  All students were able to eventually navigate the course and complete the game.  As students entered the classroom after completing the game, there was a lot of discussion about the three fur bearing animals and how they came to their conclusion for each animal.  The discussion in class went extremely well.  They really enjoyed talking about the games and the information that they discovered about each animal.  Every student I felt achieved the learning target for the day, and they truly seemed excited about the possibility of doing this type of exercise again.  All in all I would have to say my first game, while not overly complex, was a complete success.

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Looking for a Quick Online Quiz Generator? Well Here it is!

If you have been looking for a simple quiz creator for you class website this site might fit your need.  “Quibblo” is a simple to use quiz generator that allows you to create simple polls, quizzes, and surveys.  They are easy to create and embed into your website.  This site also offers games for students to play however not all of them are educational.  This site does link other quizzes to your quiz that students will be able to see that may or may not have any educational value.  But if you are looking for a quick online experience for your class this is an easy way to create some online activities for your students.

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