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Formative Assessment Techniques Online – StudyMate

StudyMate, made by Respondus, allows faculty to repurpose their assessment questions into educational games such as crossword puzzles, flashcards, or even a variation of Jeopardy.  Played in Flash format, these games are compatible in both PC and Mac computers and multiple browsers.

Some potentially valuable instructional uses of Respondus and StudyMate in higher education include:

  • Rapid development and sharing of test pools using publisher or faculty test material
  • Repurposing of exam material into study aids for students

StudyMate can be found under “Faculty Downloads” when you log in to Blackboard.  When you first install it, you need to enter the institutional license.  This license is good for one-year (August to August), so each August you need to go through the download process to find the new institutional password.

If you have used Respondus to build files for your test pools and tests/quizzes, these same files can be imported into StudyMate.  For instance, StudyMate will take a multiple choice test and extract the question and right answer to create flash cards or a Challenge game (played like Jeopardy).

Possible StudyMate activities include:

No Answer Activities

  • Fact Cards - one-sided cards that display a fact or explanation.

  • Fact Cards+ - Fact Cards that can be organized by topic.

One Answer Activities

  • Flash Cards - two-sided cards that display the term/answer on one side and the definition/question on the second side.

  • Pick A Letter - displays the definition/question at the top of the screen and has the user type or click the letters for the answer.

  • Fill in the Blank - displays the definition/question in the topsection and has the user enter the exact term/definition for the answer.

  • Matching - displays the definition/question in the top section and has the user select from one of the nine term/answer windows below.

  • Crosswords - displays the “clue” (definition or question) at the bottom of the screen and requires the user to enter the “answer” in a corresponding, highlighted area of the grid.

  • Glossary - provides an alphabetic listing of all One Answer items in the file. The term/answer is presented first, immediately followed by the definition/answer.

Multiple Choice & Calculated Activities

  • Quiz - displays a multiple choice question with the question wording at the top of the screen and answer choices below it. The user selects the correct answer by clicking on the letter that represents it.

  • Challenge - presents multiple choice questions in a fun, game-show environment. The game board consists of 5 topics, where each topic has 5 questions with point values that range from 100 to 500.

The CTE offers a workshop to assist faculty members with exploring the instructional uses of these tools:  Blackboard Assessment, Respondus and StudyMate.  Faculty members interested in learning more about how these assessment tools might be used in their teaching are welcome to contact Britt Watwood at the CTE (bwatwood@vcu.edu).

Virginia Commonwealth University  |  Center for Teaching Excellence
Last updated: 09/22/2009
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