Improve Learning with Wizer Auto-graded Worksheets

Worksheets are commonly used in the K–12 realm to guide students through practice on new concepts. Despite their benefits, they are rarely used in higher education, perhaps due to the time needed to review them. But Wizer solves that problem by offering instructors a means

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Self-Grading: The Ultimate Self-Assessment

Why is this article worth discussing: College doesn’t offer students much guidance or practice self-assessing. In college, teachers grade student work. Students don’t have the expertise or objectivity that accurate assessments require. But some teachers have explored approaches that develop students’ self-assessment skills and work

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Letter Grades, Percentage Scores, or Points

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A Case against Grades

I used to fret quite a lot over my grade distribution. If I gave too many As, did that mean my courses lacked rigor? If too many students failed, was I a bad teacher? My thinking has shifted to a greater concern over student learning

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Fair Grading Policies

Grading should be impartial and consistent. It should also be based on how competently the student handles the academic content of the course. Those are the two principles Daryl Close (2009) explores in a fine article titled “Fair Grading.” And they’re principles widely supported by

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students reviewing exam results

Point-Based Grading Systems: Benefits and Liabilities

If there’s a perfect grading system, it has yet to be discovered. This post is about point systems—not because they’re the best or the worst but because they’re widely used. It is precisely because they are so prevalent that we need to think about how

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Using Grading Policies to Promote Learning

Using Grading Policies to Promote Learning

I just finished putting together some materials on grading policies for a series of Magna 20-Minute Mentor programs, and I am left with several important take-aways on the powerful role of grading policies. I’m not talking here about the grades themselves, but instead the policies

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Four Key Questions about Grading

There’s an excellent article on grading in a recent issue of Cell Biology Education-Life Sciences Education. It offers a brief history of grading (it hasn’t been around for all that long), and then looks to the literature for answers to four key questions.

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Magna Digital Library

Worksheets are commonly used in the K–12 realm to guide students through practice on new concepts. Despite their benefits, they are rarely used in higher education, perhaps due to the time needed to review them. But Wizer solves that problem by offering instructors a means of creating auto-graded digital worksheets. By guiding students through a topic using cues such as videos and text followed by interactions, these worksheets scaffold learning in a way that quizzes cannot. Because they can provide a wider range of possible interactions than most quizzing apps, they allow students to engage the same information in different ways, activating different neuro-networks and improving retention. An instructor can create a worksheet to accompany each lesson for students to go through after the class. Not only do they reinforce what students just learned, but they also help fill in the gaps in students’ understanding. Student notes tend to be sketchy, often focusing on the wrong things. Faculty can use worksheets to guide students through the most important content or provide sufficiently rounded context for information covered in class. Plus, faculty can look at the class performance on a worksheet to identify common errors and address those in the following lesson. And as Wizer grades and compiles the results for the instructor’s review, worksheets are no more time consuming for teachers than using a quizzing app.

How Wizer works

Wizer allows faculty to build online worksheets in a variety of ways. Instructors can use one of over 10 million worksheets developed by other teachers as a template for their own. The template doesn’t need to match the material the instructor wants to cover. They have their own material. They’re really only picking a template in a format they like and swapping out the elements for their own.

The instructor can also upload a worksheet they already have to quickly transform into an interactive format. Finally, they can create a worksheet from scratch using the simple drag-and-drop format and by picking the question types they want.

Once done, faculty can share worksheets with students in a variety of ways. They can send students a link or create classes within the system—basically just folders of worksheets—and send students a code to get into that class to access all the worksheets. Creating classes also allows the system to generate class-wide analytics about student performance, as well as providing the option to look at individual student performance.

Wizer offers a wide variety of question types. Besides the open response, multiple choice, sorting, and matching questions found in quizzing systems, it provides fill-in-the-blanks activities as well as an image interaction where the faculty member uploads an image for students to tag. For instance, a biology professor can upload an image of a cell and have students label the different parts.

Wizer also allows faculty to use worksheets as stand-alone lessons by loading various types of learning content. Besides text, faculty can load images, videos, and links to outside resources. Plus, they can embed a class-wide discussion into a worksheet that will allow each student to post messages and see other’s posts right inside of the worksheet. This can be helpful when an instructor wants to tie discussion to a particular piece of learning content. Students can even reply to questions with audio or video. Finally, faculty can embed outside apps into worksheet. This would allow an instructor to embed a functioning Padlet page within the worksheet for students to post to without having to go to another app.

Wizer offers a remarkable amount of functionality in its free plan, including an unlimited number of questions and students. The premium plan adds the ability to put students into groups to differentiate instruction by sending different groups different worksheets, as well as a few other features. All this comes for only five dollars per month.

Take a look at this tutorial on Wizer and consider how you might use it to improve learning in your courses: