Embedding Digital Skills in a Syllabus Quiz

DEC MonitorOver a year ago I wrote about a list of basic digital skills that my students should possess but often don’t. In that post I talked about quizzing students on these skills at the beginning of the semester. I’m finally getting around to doing this, for a first-year seminar I’ll be teaching to entering college students. My objectives are for the students to read the syllabus, discover whether they have the skills needed to access readings and submit assignments, and to seek help where appropriate.

Here are some of the quiz questions:

  • Find the assigned article written by Thu-Huong Ha [which I’ve clipped to an Evernote folder I made for the course]. A photo shows the author and her parents in a U.S. city in 1975. What is the name of that city?
  • Locate the reading assignment written by Hazrat Inayat Khan [a book excerpt available as library e-reserve]. Complete the sentence found on page 38 — “The inner life is a journey, and  . . . “
  • Find the Reuters article by Jason Szep and Stuart Grudgings [a pdf in the Evernote folder]. Download the article and then submit it as a pdf for the assignment on Canvas named “Syllabus Quiz Upload.”

You get the idea. I’ll set a 30-minute time limit on the quiz and give each student three attempts, using only the highest score.