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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 74-78

The use of anonymous pop-quizzes as an innovative teaching–learning tool to reinforce learning among undergraduate dental students


1 Department of Periodontics and Community Dentistry, Dr. Z A Dental College, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Prosthodontics and Dental Material, Dr. Z A Dental College, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology/Oral Pathology, Dr. Ziauddin Ahmad Dental College and Hospital, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India
4 Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, Maharana Pratap College of Dentistry and Research Centre, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, India

Date of Submission06-Jan-2021
Date of Decision12-Feb-2021
Date of Acceptance05-Mar-2021
Date of Web Publication30-Jun-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Neha Agrawal
Department of Periodontics and Community Dentistry, Dr. Z A Dental College, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh
India
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DOI: 10.4103/srmjrds.srmjrds_3_21

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  Abstract 


Context: To improve the success of higher education, various innovative teaching–learning tools are being incorporated by the instructors while planning their classes. This study was carried out to evaluate the impact of anonymous pop-quizzes (APQs) on undergraduate dental students' performance. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional, comparative study was carried out on 20 third-year and 24 final-year dental students. Two different technologies were used to find out the impact of each teaching–learning tool on learning on the same topic “Use of Fluorides in Dentistry” among third-year and final-year BDS students. The first tool was conventional lectures and the second tool used was APQ. One week later, the responses of both the final-year and third-year students were obtained on a ten-question quiz to evaluate the difference in understanding and retention of knowledge of the topic. The data was analyzed using SPSS version 16 software. Descriptive statistics were carried out and an unpaired t-test was applied. Results: Average test scores of final-year and third-year students were 41.00 ± 3.81and 34.00 ± 3.83, respectively, which showed a statistically significant difference between the two groups (P = 0.00). Final-year students' feedbacks indicated that the use of APQs improved the knowledge and understanding of the topics and clarified the doubts. Conclusions: The use of APQs led to reinforced learning among BDS final-year students.

Keywords: Anonymous pop-quizzes, higher education, reinforcement, teaching–learning techniques


How to cite this article:
Agrawal N, Rathi S, Gupta ND, Aggarwal A, Garg AK, Gupta J. The use of anonymous pop-quizzes as an innovative teaching–learning tool to reinforce learning among undergraduate dental students. SRM J Res Dent Sci 2021;12:74-8

How to cite this URL:
Agrawal N, Rathi S, Gupta ND, Aggarwal A, Garg AK, Gupta J. The use of anonymous pop-quizzes as an innovative teaching–learning tool to reinforce learning among undergraduate dental students. SRM J Res Dent Sci [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Jul 31];12:74-8. Available from: https://www.srmjrds.in/text.asp?2021/12/2/74/319863




  Introduction Top


The area of national concern for the 21st century still remains the affordability, quality, and overall success of higher education, and therefore, there is a need for identifying and assimilating cost-effective innovation in teaching–learning (T-L) methods to enhance the deep learning among students.[1] Student success largely depends on their preparation outside the class, regularity in attending the class, and active participation during the class. Therefore, knowing what predicts academic achievement and promoting positive learning opportunities for students can result in the identification of teaching elements that address these areas.[2]

There has been considerable recent research indicating that regular testing and quizzing can promote the long-term retention of course content by students.[3] Anonymous pop-quizzes (APQs) are well received by students as they often allow bonus points and are well liked by teachers as they promote student attendance and preclass learning.[4] Several educators in nonmedical academic sites have used APQs to enhance student readiness,[5] improve critical thinking abilities,[6] to recognize problem areas that require further reinforcement,[7] and to upgrade subsequent grading.[8] The study results have shown improvements in students' overall performance with the use of APQs. None of the studies so far have examined the effect of APQs on the success of undergraduate dental students.

The use of fluorides in dentistry is an important topic in public health dentistry as it has proved to be one of the most cost-effective and efficient agents in preventive dentistry.[9] In the curriculum for BDS students, the Dental Council of India has included fluorides.[10] The use of fluorides in dentistry is usually taught in a series of lectures and practical postings To acquire detailed knowledge and understanding of the use of fluorides in the public health setting, the student needs to be thorough with the topic for which they require to come prepared for the class, need to learn critical thinking, and to improve problem-solving skills. The employment of newer interactive T-L methods can help in acquiring these skills thereby develop the understanding of the subject.

Therefore, this study was carried out with the aim to evaluate the impact of use of APQs as an innovative teaching–learning tool to reinforce learning among undergraduate dental students.


  Methodology Top


A cross-sectional, comparative interventional study was carried out on 20 third-year students and 24 final-year students of dental college. Two different technologies were used to find out the impact of each teaching–learning tool on learning on the same topic “Use of Fluorides in Dentistry” among third-year and final-year BDS students. The first tool was conventional lectures and the second tool used was APQs along with lectures. “Three conventional didactic lecture sessions (1 h each/week) were taken for the third-year students on the topic “Use of Fluorides in Dentistry.” In the lecture, the students were introduced to the history, availability of fluorides, metabolism and fate, mechanism of action, method of administration as topical and systemic application including the indications, contraindications, and uses. By the end of the class, the students were expected to know the application of fluorides in dentistry. The APQs were designed during lesson planning for the final-year BDS students to enhance participation and interest on the same topic “Use of Fluorides in Dentistry.” The BDS final-year batch was informed that APQ session would be undertaken for them, 2 weeks in advance so that the students came prepared for it. APQS were not used for third-year students.

The free program Google Forms (www.Google.com ' forms ') was used to create the APQs. The link to the APQs in the form of multiple-choice questions was shared at Google classroom and WhatsApp group of final-year BDS students. The questions were either having a single right answer or multiple correct answers. To maintain anonymity, the identifying details of the students were not kept in the format. Attempting all questions was compulsory. The APQs were kept brief (five questions), required approximately 5 min to finish, and directed particularly on the content covered in the class [Table 1]. Sample questions included:
Table 1: Details of quiz rounds

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  1. The optimum concentration of fluoride in drinking water that does not produce mottling of enamel yet preventing dental caries is:


    1. 0.01 ppm
    2. 1 ppm
    3. 2 ppm
    4. 0.1 ppm


  2. Chocking off phenomenon is observed with which topical fluoride


    1. Sodium fluoride
    2. Stannous fluoride
    3. Carex
    4. Acidulated phosphate fluoride


  3. Lethal dose of fluorides for an adult is


    1. 1.5–2.5 g
    2. 5–10 g
    3. 15–20 g
    4. 20–40 g


After class, the instructor ensured that all the students had completed the quiz by checking the number of students who answered and if the number was less than the attendance of class, then the students were encouraged to complete it.

The responses of final-year students were then evaluated which led to the identification of the areas needing reinforcement of learning. It also helped in identifying the areas that the students understood well. For example, student responses indicated more time should be devoted to describing water fluoridation studies, as many students could not answer questions related to water fluoridation accurately. At the end of the second and third sessions, the results of previous quizzes were shown in the class. To enhance learning and strengthen their awareness of areas where students did not perform well, each question was picked and discussed with the students. At the end of the third session, the feedback was also obtained from the students on a 5-point Likert scale regarding the effectiveness of APQs approach and their satisfaction with the same [Table 2].
Table 2: Studentfs feedback questionnaire to evaluate the difference in understanding and retention of knowledge of the topic among third. and fourth-year BDS students

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One week later, the responses of both the final-year and third-year students were obtained on a ten-question quiz to evaluate the difference in understanding and retention of knowledge of the topic. Each question carried 5 marks.

The data was compiled and transferred to SPSS version 16 software for the statistical analysis. Descriptive statistics were carried out and an unpaired t-test was applied to find out the difference in the responses of BDS final-year and third-year students. P ≤ 0.05 was considered statistically significant.


  Results Top


In the present study, 87.5% of the final-year and 80% of third-year students were present throughout the study. The highest score in the final-year group was 44 and that of third year was 37. The average test scores of the final-year and third-year students were 41.00 ± 3.81 and 34.00 ± 3.83, respectively [Table 3], which showed a statistically significant difference between the two groups (P = 0.00). The feedback questionnaire revealed a difference in understanding and retention of knowledge of the same topic with the application of two different teaching–learning tools among the final-year (APQs approach) and third-year students (conventional teaching approach). Among 21 final-year students, 17 (80.95%) gave feedback that the use of APQs lead to an improvement in learning in comparison to only 12 (60%) out of 20 third-year students among whom conventional teaching method was used. Among final-year students, 3 (14.28%) agreed and only 1 (4.76%) neither agreed nor disagreed on the issue regarding improvement in learning in comparison to third-year students among whom 4 (20%) agreed, but 2 (10%) neither agreed nor disagreed and 2 (10%) disagreed for improvement in learning while utilizing the APQs and conventional lecture approach, respectively. The APQ method enhanced the preparedness for the class and improved the critical thinking of the final-year students [Figure 1]. Similarly, 19 (90.47%) of final-year students were satisfied with the APQ approach and agreed that the use of APQs stimulated their interest and motivated them in comparison to only 13 (61.90%) of third-year students among whom conventional teaching method was used. All (100%) final-year students were interested in learning other topics also using the APQs approach in comparison to third-year students (75%) using a conventional approach.
Figure 1: Cumulative feedback of BDS final year students

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Table 3: Comparison of marks obtained by third-year and final-year students in the final quiz

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  Discussion Top


Improving the success of higher education is the main concern, which leads to many resolutions that the instructors must make when planning their classes.[1] To our knowledge, this is the only study that has examined the utility of APQs among undergraduate dental students. This initial work suggested that the application of APQs is a more effective way of learning than conventional lectures, isolated studying, and repeated studying which was in agreement with other researches.[4],[11] In the present study, the attendance of final-year students was found to be better than the third-year students which was in line with a study conducted by Wilder et al.[12] Student attendance could play a role in overall student success in higher education.

According to Azorlosa and Marcell, online quizzes improve student preparation outside of class which was similar to the findings of our study.[13],[14] The online quizzes may require initial time in framing but offer the advantage of immediate feedback, scoring, and not requiring any extra class time to administer.[2] The APQ approach has also increased the participation of class in a discussion of the topic, as demonstrated by other studies.[14],[15]

The third-year BDS students scored significantly less than the final-year students demonstrating better understanding and retention of the topic among them in the final quiz. The standard deviation was significantly narrow among final-year students, signifying equitable knowledge dissemination among all students. Thus, quizzes reinforce overall student understanding thereby success; therefore, instructors should include quizzes in their teaching practices.

There are various ways in which the quizzes can be administered like either in-class quizzes, pen-and-paper quizzes, or online quizzes completed outside of class. Both in-class and online quizzes enhance student preparation outside of class and well accepted by the students.[15],[16] These formats also act as learning aid for students in their preparation for the postgraduate entrance test where the same type of layout is followed.

APQs can be used as an assessment method for both the instructor and the learner. It not only provides feedback to our teaching approach but also allows the instructor to work upon the areas of strength and weakness among the students for future classes.[16],[17]

The limitation of the present study was the small sample size. The instructor included all the students of the BDS third year and final year of one dental college. However as the batch size was small, the instructor could not increase the sample size. Therefore, to substantiate the results, studies on a larger sample size need to be carried out. Studies using other novel teaching approaches and contrasting them with this method would also provide a greater understanding of this approach's advantages and disadvantages.


  Conclusions Top


The use of APQs among final-year students provided an opportunity to apply the interactive component of teaching in class and test learning in an apprehension-free environment. The final-year BDS students were able to acquire and retain the knowledge better than the third-year BDS students, signifying the role of APQs in enhancing learning. APQ approach helped us to improve student preparedness, improved critical thinking skills among them, and facilitated the identification of problem areas and weaknesses that require further reinforcement for the better future outcome of higher education.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Hunt JB, Tierney TJ. American Higher Education: How does it measure up for the 21st century? (NCPPHE Report 06-2).2006. Retrieved from The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education website Available from: http://www.highereducation.org/reports/hunt_tierney/Hunt_Tierney.pdf. [Last accessed on 2020 Oct 15].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Glodowski KR, Thompson RH, Asuncion EA. Evidence based recommendations for programming quizzes to improve college student behavior in residential courses. J Behav Educ 2020;29:543-70.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Roediger HL, Agarwal PK, Kang SHK, Marsh EJ. Benefits of testing memory: Best practices and boundary conditions. In: Davies GM, Wright DB, editors. New frontiers in applied memory. Brighton, UK: Psychology Press 2010. p. 13-49.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Lê ML. The use of anonymous pop-quizzes (APQs) as a tool to reinforce learning. J Med Libr Assoc 2012;100:316-9.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Kauffman J. Pop quizzes: Theme and Variations. The Teaching Professor. Magna Publications Inc., 2718 Dryden Drive, Madison, WI 53704; 1999. p. 13:4.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Carter C, Gentry JA. Use of pop quizzes as an innovative strategy to promote critical thinking in nursing students. Nurse Educ 2000;25:155.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Bell JT. Anonymous quizzes: An effective feedback mechanism. Chem. Eng. Educ 1997;31:56-7.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Anderson JE. Frequency of quizzes in a behavioral science course: An attempt to increase medical student study behavior. Teach Psychol 1984;11:34.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Mariño R, Fajardo J, Morgan M. Cost-effectiveness models for dental caries prevention programmes among Chilean schoolchildren. Community Dent Health 2012;29:302-8.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
DCI course regulations 2007. Available from: http://www. dciindia.org.in/Rule_Regulation/BDS_Course_Regulation_2007_ alongwith_Amendments.pdf [Last accessed on 2020 Jan 24].  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Karpicke JD, Blunt JR. Retrieval practice produces morelearning than elaborative studying with concept mapping. Science 2011;331:772-4.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
Wilder DA, Flood WA, Stromsnes W. The use of random extra credit quizzes to increase student attendance. J Instr Psychol 2001;28:117-20.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
Azorlosa JL. The effect of announced quizzes on exam performance: Quiz content. J Instr Psychol 2012;39:12-6.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.
Marcell M. Effectiveness of regular online quizzing in increasing class participation and prepara tion. Int J Scholarsh Teach Learn 2008;2:1-9.  Back to cited text no. 14
    
15.
Clayton MC, Woodard C. The effect of response cards on participation and weekly quiz scores of university students enrolled in introductory psychology courses. J Behav Educ 2007;16:250-8.  Back to cited text no. 15
    
16.
Susan P, Doug W. A comparison of assessment practices and their effects on learning and motivation in a studentcentered learning environment. J Educ Multimedia Hypermedia 2004;13:283-307.  Back to cited text no. 16
    
17.
Devi K. Quiz as an innovative approach in teaching community medicine to medical students. Natl J Community Med 2014;5:182-5.  Back to cited text no. 17
    


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    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]



 

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