Assessment and Evaluation,  Educational Technology,  Remote Teaching

Formative Assessment: A comparison of two online quizzes 

This post aims to compare the design of two online quizzes to determine how each design impacts student learning.  

Formative assessment is a process used to: 

  • Identify what students already know and where they need more support to reach the desired learning outcomes.
  • Provide feedback that the student can use to increase learning before a final assessment. For example, using feedback from a draft assignment that can be used to increase understanding for future revisions.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the instruction during the learning process so the teacher can adjust instruction to meet students’ needs.  

“You almost want kids to make mistakes on formative assessments because that’s how you figure out your next teaching cues. Once we attach a grade, students try to hide their weaknesses.”   

Scott Filkens, “Beyond Standardized Truth” 

Quizzes are one option for providing formative assessments. 

quiz iconActivity: Complete the following two quizzes. No prior knowledge is required (less than 3 minutes to complete both) 

Both quizzes are about formative assessment, however the content is not important for the purpose of this blog. Simply reflect on how you experienced each quiz as a learner. 

Note that the purpose of each quiz is for a learner to: 

  • Gain feedback about how well they understand the material. 
  • Reduce anxiety/build confidence in how well they understand the material. 
  • Provide learners opportunities to determine where they need further growth before a summative evaluation.
Quiz #1: Quiz #2: 
QR code for quiz 1 QR code quiz 2


  • Which quiz do you think was most effective and why? 
  • Which quiz best aligns with the USask Assessment Principles? 
  • Did you notice that the first quiz was timed, had no clear purpose, and was graded?
  • Did you notice that the second quiz that had a clear purpose, unlimited tries, and provided feedback on each question.
  • Was your experience similar to that of comments from others who have completed both quizzes?

Quiz #1:

stress icon

    • I wasn’t spending as much time as I needed to on each question because I wanted to make sure I got it done before the time was up. 
    • I was intimidated by the mark. Especially because I was just practicing. There was a lot of pressure. 

Quiz #2:

feedback icon

  • I liked the feedback on why I got some questions wrong. It helped me understand gaps in my learning. 



For more support in increasing formative assessments, please reach out to the Gwenna Moss Teaching and Learning Centre.  

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