Publication Details

Hastie, D & Goldfinch, T, Evaluating online multiple choice quizzes as formative assessment tools in an engineering fluid mechanics subject, In Gardner, A & Jolly, L (Eds), The 21st Annual Conference for the Australasian Association for Engineering Education, 2010, p 322-327, Australasian Association for Engineering Education.


In an effort to improve learning outcomes in a second year Engineering Fluid Mechanics subject, the first author has developed and piloted a series of online multiple choice quizzes (MCQ) as formative assessment tools. This paper describes the development and implementation of these quizzes and the evaluation of their effect on students’ results in a formal written mid-session exam and also final exam. Students’ perception of the quizzes is also captured and discussed through the use of a brief, in class survey. The effect of these MCQs was investigated for two main cohorts of students, those who voluntarily attempted the MCQs and those that did not participate at all. Student participation has been compared against mid-session and final examination results as well as Weighted Average Marks (WAM) (or Grade Point Averages (GPA)) and demographic information. It has been found that there was a noticeable increase in exam marks for students who attempted the MCQs. In addition, feedback from students who participated in the quizzes has been largely positive, with several requesting more MCQs. While other factors that may potentially impact on exam results are also being considered, this evaluation has indicated that there may be benefit in rolling out additional MCQs in the future, covering a greater proportion of the subject content.

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