Professor Kelly Williams, UWG Clinical Assistant Professor of Public Relations allows students to retake quizzes until they are satisfied with their grades.
“It’s a way for students to engage more in the material and really learn the content,” said Williams. “If a student wants to take a quiz three or four times to improve their grade, then that means they are engaging more in the material and that is the objective.”
Retakes allow students to become responsible for their own grades and to become proficient in the material by consistent engagement with the course materials. This strategy provides students the opportunity to master the material and improves overall retention.
“If a student wants an A, then they can earn an A,” said Williams. “Continuing to succeed is a lifelong skill that students need to be successful. They can continue to take the quiz until they are satisfied with their grade.”
Almost all certifications and licensure tests in life provide an option for a retake, such as a driving test or a teacher’s license test. This strategy grants students the opportunity to take responsibility and ownership of their own success.
However, even though the opportunity is available, some students might not put in their best efforts. Williams informs her students that quizzes are worth 10% of their grades.
“That’s a whole letter grade,” said Williams.
When students come to her at the end of the semester wanting to improve their grades, she looks to see if they took the initiative to repeat the quizzes for a higher score.
“I do this strategy in all the classes I teach,” said Williams.
Quizzes are considered low-stakes assignments. Williams emphasizes how there are high-stake assignments, such as exams and projects, and low-stakes assignments, such as quizzes and daily participation. She emphasizes the need for balance between low and high-stake assignments and how prioritization gives students an opportunity to do well in class.
Williams claims the strategy is also beneficial for students who have test anxiety.
“If students do have test anxiety and no matter what, they are not going to do well on the exam,” said Williams. “If they have done well on their quizzes, then there is a balance within the grade.”
According to Williams, when students have the option to retake a quiz, it alleviates the fear of failing.
“The main reason I allow my students to retake tests is so that they actually learn what I am teaching,” said Williams. “I want them to know what concepts they didn’t get so they can go back and review the material.”
“Allowing students more than one opportunity to masterthe material ensures long-lasting learning,” continued Williams. “At the end of the day, I just want students to be successful. My teaching style isn’t a one-and-done. I really want my students to learn.”