Lesson planning

14 October 2022

How to use quizzes to enhance your pupils’ learning

Elisabeth Pugh

Subject Lead (science)

Research tells us that frequent use of quizzes in lessons can improve pupils’ knowledge retention.

Regular use of quizzes can help you to monitor pupil progress and identify common mistakes and misconceptions. They also provide valuable opportunities for feedback and help to embed learning.

To maximise the impact quizzes have, they need to be formed of carefully crafted, high-quality questions that follow a pupil’s learning journey. These questions need to be clear, accessible and deliberately framed to anticipate misconceptions. A high-quality quiz also needs to draw out deeper understanding and provide an appropriate level of challenge for all. It’s all really time-consuming, so it’s easy to see how regular quizzing can fall by the wayside.

Oak can help you to incorporate frequent, high-quality quizzes into your lessons to supercharge your pupils’ learning, without adding to your workload.

Use Oak for your regular quizzing

Starter quizzes can be a great way to start a lesson by checking that pupils’ have the necessary prior knowledge to access the lesson. This allows you to quickly identify and address any knowledge gaps before introducing new learning.

Exit quizzes can be used to assess progress made within the lesson and used to inform future planning. These quizzes are also valuable when used as homework or for spaced retrieval practice.

You’ll find these in many of our lessons, across KS2, KS3 and KS4.

You have complete flexibility in how you use these quizzes with your class. You can use the whole quiz, or pick and choose questions to suit your needs. If you choose to use one of our lessons in full, we’ve embedded high-quality questions throughout that help you to continually check your pupils’ understanding.

Search our teaching resources to find our quizzes.

Three tips to help you get the most out of our quizzes

  1. Maximise the impact of retrieval practice by keeping the environment ‘low-stakes’.

    Help your pupils understand that any regular quizzing is designed to help you support and accelerate their learning. Make it clear that their responses don’t contribute to any formal assessment – and getting questions wrong is all part of the process.

    Using low-stakes quizzes can help to keep your pupils’ environment low-stress, reducing test-related anxiety, whilst maximising their learning. Receiving regular and instant feedback on their progress can also help to boost your pupils’ confidence, encourage self-reflection about areas where they could improve, and encourage independent learning.
  2. Make it quick and easy – for everyone.

    Quizzes don’t need to mean mountains of marking for you. Our quizzes are readily available for sharing, and whilst our quiz questions are crafted to expose common misconceptions and mistakes, they’re all quick to mark with many of them being multiple-choice.

    Teachers told us that they wanted to be able to use quizzes class-wide. So we’ve added a new feature to our Teacher Hub: the option to ‘project in class’.

    This means that you can project the questions onto your whiteboard and ask your pupils to jot down their answer on a mini-white board. When they hold it up, you’ll quickly spot who has got the answer right and where there are commonalities across the class. This provides you with opportunities to intervene and correct misconceptions or mistakes in the moment, preventing them from becoming embedded in your pupils’ thinking.

    You can also download and print paper copies, allowing you to adapt your practice to accommodate the needs of pupils who might struggle to access the quiz if it is projected at the front of the room.
  3. Frequency and repetition are key.

    Frequent use of low-stakes testing throughout the lesson gives your pupils multiple opportunities to receive feedback and improve their learning. Best practice would be to include a few questions at the start, middle and end of your class.

    Retrieval practice is a recognised method for helping pupils to recall and embed their knowledge. To use our quizzes as spaced retrieval practice you can repeat quizzes from topics that you covered weeks or months ago, keeping learning fresh in your pupils’ minds. This will also help the knowledge ‘stick’ in their long-term memory.

Get quizzing with Oak

Start using our quizzes in your classroom today. Search our curriculum plans, select a lesson and get started straight away.