As a student, I have never enjoyed pop quizzes.  However, as a future teacher, I think in many ways they can benefit the students.  Since the students do not know when to expect the quizzes, they will always feel like they need to be prepared, which will enhance their memory of the material for when the exam time comes around.  What is your opinion? Do pop quizzes play a positive or negative role in the classroom?

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I think if the pop quizzes were less about the pop and were more about "let's see how much you know, and see how we can improve our memory about the things we're not recalling as well yet", I'd have liked that more. After all what's assessment for?

I'm a big fan of open notes quizzes. I don't want to know what you've squirreled away in your brain and remembered. I want to know what you took the time to write down during class or while doing your reading. And I want to know whether or not you can use that information to say something meaningful.

These can be positive and negative depending on the follow up that is done with them. If these are used not only to check on the students knowledge level and to 'keep them on their toes,' then it is marginally effective, however if you also use it as a formative tool to then aid your instruction it could become extremely valuable.

I think pop quizzes play an important role in teaching. As a student, If I knew that the teacher was going to give out random pop quizzes then I would have paid more attention in class. By me paying more attention in class, I would have comprehended more of the subject and benefited from the class more than without pop quizzes. When, I am a teacher I am going to do something similar to pop quizzes so the students will pay better attention in class.

I think there is definitely a place for practicing recall. I am currently enjoying Making it Stick. I am sure the secret is to help the students understand that this is to help their learning - not something to stress about. Tests or self-checks as I call them with students can be really short - with immediate feedback.

I started my blog post on this subject this week.

That is my philosophy on pop quizzes as well.


I use "pop quizzes" to help my 7th and 8th graders understand they should review what was discussed in class each day. My 8th graders are on an A / B schedule and it is really important for them to learn to review the material from our last session. I use them sparingly, I prefer to start class with a discussion for the previous class, but when I feel like the kids are not invested, I use the pop quiz and they begin to review for the nest class! I use a 5 or 10 point system for these quizzes!

Hope that helps!

That is a difficult question.  I teach mainly Advanced Placement and Dual Credit classes and would not give a pop quiz in those classes as those students tend to be more... well, advanced.  They do study the material and they do the readings.  However, they may not do them in a timely manner as most of them are taking way too many advanced courses and cannot keep up every night of the week.  As for general classes, I have given them but don't really feel one way or the other.  However, I don't give them very often at all.  As for the article -- for bonus points -- there is not a chance I would give them for bonus points.  I might modify the grade scale so it isn't as punitive but that is it.

I also used pop quizzes.  My students were always aware of the possibility that there would be a pop quiz on what we were learning.  

True and it encourages engagement in class do to the feeling of ANOTHER pop quiz occurring.

Positive on my end;  students expect it and it gives immediate feedback.  Suggestion would be to not make them lengthy.  In the physical sciences;  physics and chemsitry, I typically try to limit them to 2 or 3 problems.  I don't want it to turn into a long endeavor;  just something that quickly checks for understanding


I remember as a student the stress of pop quizzes and the fact that i had to be prepared constantly but did not always have the time to be prepared. But then actually, I came across one teacher that had a really nice technique that I thought was really effective. During the classroom, our teacher would be giving the course material and then from time to time, put questions in his presentation to which all the students were invited to answer to these questions on their smartphones, tablets or computers. You see, here the quizzes were a way to anchor the material that we had just seen a couple of minutes ago. It was a way for us to apply the content we had just seen before, to make our brain work and enhance the memory! This was the first time I came across classroom response system and thought it was great. The teacher used Wooclap, which was really super easy and intuitive for both students and teachers. Now I actually work for Wooclap! I thought it was a great way to optimise the learning process and transform students into active learners and not just passive listeners in class.

I'll attach a little video of it if you are interested! 




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