Upskilling Education

A quiz connect

Quizzing as a game or hobby has been part of our society’s collective fabric for a long time. From the time Bournvita Quiz Contest started to air on All India Radio in the early 1970s, to Kaun Banega Crorepati now, generations of Indians have pursued quizzing as a hobby, and thousands of quiz clubs or dot our schools, colleges, neighbourhoods and communities across the country.

In the last decade, digital quizzing has taken off primarily because our classrooms became more technology enabled, and organisations, in the public and private sector, have adapted to social media and technology platforms to engage with their target audiences.

Knowledge-building

Participation in quizzes, whether in person or online, is a great way to build one’s knowledge around any subject. In early 2000s, I was a management student in Bengaluru. At the time, most college fests in the city had a ‘Business Quiz’ run internally or through a professional quizzing organisation or a quizmaster. As a student with a science background, I was not accustomed to various aspects of business, economics and finance, and participating in these quizzes taught me a lot about history, famous persons, companies, finance and markets that was handy during the campus placement season. This is not a unique story. I know many people, especially students, who built their knowledge base around technology, automobiles, art and culture, and many other areas by participating in quizzes.

The Embassy of Sweden, New Delhi, runs the Sweden India Nobel Memorial Quiz, through which participants learn about the country, its history, art and culture, business, sustainability, climate action, gender equality and the Nobel Prize. Another interesting quizzing initiative is ‘Bharat Ko Janiye’ (which means Know India) run by the India Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, titled for non-resident Indians and foreign nationals. Both are great example of how to use quizzing to connect and engage with the audience to build knowledge and awareness of the topic.

Quizzing and assessments

But, for many, “quizzing” is a dreaded word. It conjures up the vision of a teacher walking into the classroom and offering a “spot quiz” or a “surprise test” on a subject that wasn’t our favourite, and the stress it brought. However, today, teachers all across the world are using innovative technology that use game design and game mechanics to make a quiz interesting. Not just in classrooms but in workplaces too, the learning and development teams are increasingly using such tools to make mandatory assessments around HR policies, environment, health and safety, product knowledge, and programming, besides others.

The ability to compete with peers, receive positive reinforcements, and overcome challenges that such gamified technology offers makes the assessment less boring and enhances the experience of the person being assessed apart from having a positive impact in driving learning outcomes.

In the COVID-19 impacted times that we are in, the use of quizzing as a fun way of knowledge-building and assessments has got a huge impetus worldwide and will remain so in the foreseeable future.

The writer is a professional quizmaster and the founder of QuizWorks, a quizzing company.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 12:58:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/how-quizzes-can-be-a-useful-tool-for-knowledge-building/article33257965.ece

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