Cooperative Quizzes: Best Practices

Experts recommend collaborative quizzes for courses that already include some level of group work.

Practitioners have successfully used collaborative quizzes in both small classes and large lectures classes.

Groups of 3-4 generally work best because small groups help to ensure that every student’s voice is heard.

Students grouped to encourage diversity tend to yield the best results, which may require instructors to assign groups.

Students may benefit from staying in the same groups for several quizzes so they can observe group as well as individual improvement.

Questions may be multiple choice or short answer, but essays are not recommended.

Students may need guidance about how to use thoughtful discussion to come to a unanimous decision so they will not resort to coin flipping or majority-rules voting.  The emphasis is on consensus because one of the goals of the group quiz is to cultivate the ability to make convincing arguments for an answer.  A student with the correct answer must also be able to explain effectively  why they came to that conclusion.

Providing only one answer sheet per group can help ensure that groups come to a consensus.

Student learning will be maximized if correct answers are discussed after completion of the cooperative quizzes. 

In addition to providing students with an explanation of the process and benefits of group quizzes, consider explaining in your syllabus how cooperative quizzes will work. See instructions for writing about cooperative quizzes in your syllabus here

Consider asking students for feedback. See an example of a feedback questionnaire