Salisbury University students on campus

Student Generated Assessment Questions

What are Student Generated Assessment Questions?

Student-generated assessment questions are questions created by students to demonstrate their understanding of specific course materials.  These questions can be used as tools to promote student learning and interest while gauging their understanding of materials. Students submit their questions for review by the instructor and are used during assessments. This active learning practice can be used to help students focus their studies for exams while giving ownership to the questions used on the exams to the students.  Selecting the best questions can give students an incentive to ask critical questions that will challenge them and identify their understanding of material. 

Why are Student Generated Assessment Questions beneficial?

Having students write assessment questions provides tremendous benefits to student retention of materials because:  

  1. When students prepare quiz questions over specific materials, they must read and engage with the material. 
  2. As they think about and write questions, they can reflect on concepts that they initially found difficult or gaps in their own grasp of the concepts. 
  3. Students learn what goes into a well-developed question as well as expanding the cognitive level of questions. 
  4. Creating quiz questions helps students study the material. 
  5. Creating quiz questions helps verify student understanding with alignment between course content and assessment. 
  6. Students can see the value in creating quiz questions, gives ownership and helps reduce anxiety during assessments.  
  7. Provides faculty members with formative feedback on student engagement with the concepts as well as gaps in their understanding. 
  8. Each cohort of students is developing unique sets of questions that increase the integrity of the assessment. 

What are the challenges/disadvantages of Student Generated Assessment Questions?

Some challenges in having students generate assessment questions can be:   

  1. Student phrasing might be insufficient.  Although the writing or phrasing might not be perfect, this provides the faculty with sets of questions to modify and use in an assessment.   
  2. Students might focus on certain concepts and overlook concepts that the instructor deems important.  Even so, having students write assessment questions allows the instructor to see what students focus upon or value in any given semester. 
  3. Students might avoid creating questions in areas they don’t fully understand, however, instructors can use this to identify concepts needing further review.  

How can you implement Student Generated Assessment Questions?

There are several techniques instructors can use to assist students in generating quality assessment questions:   

  1. Instructors can provide a rubric for students to develop questions and ascertain whether the question is complex, usable, well thought out, and how well it challenges students to apply what they are learning. 
  2. Share with students Dr. Vincent Genareo’s High-Five Webinar on The Art and Science of Crafting Traditional Assessments 
  3. Instructors can mix revised student questions with instructor questions and randomize the questions drawn from question banks.  It will be random whether a student receives a question they drafted.   
  4. In addition to a Rubric, the instructor can provide instructions on how to write assessment questions, such as: 
    1. Student Quiz Creation 
    2. Writing Multiple Choice Questions 
    3. Student Generated Quiz Questions