Assessing Instant Questions lifts in-class engagement

Assessing Instant Questions lifts in-class engagement

10 Aug 2015        Xorro-Q

We know that regularly asking "instant" questions in class is a sure-fire way of lifting and sustaining engagement.  Now, using Xorro-Q, the responses to these instant questions can be rewarded: either by assessing them for correctness or by recognising the contributor through participation points.

Using Xorro-Q, questions can be prepared in advance and then "asked" selectively at any time during class.  An "Instant Question" differs from these in that it provides a response form to a question which has not been prepared in advance.  For example: An educator might, in the course of a video, pause the video and "ask" the audience for an interpretation of a particular scene.   If a text response is wanted, then the educator just presses a single button (on Xorro-Q's Q-Launcher floating toolbar) and the audience devices are served with a text response form.  As responses arrive, the lecturer might pre-view these on another screen, or might prefer to allow them to be seen "live" as a stream, or as a "wordcloud".  Learn more about Instant Questions

Instant questions now account for 23% of all in-class (real time) questions asked in Xorro-Q, and it's rising.  

Instant questions are popular with educators, since they add spontaneity to the students' classroom esperience, and they do not require preparation.   When using Q-Launcher, instant questions from any context (slide shows, videos etc) are also really - instant!  It's essential that nothing get in the way of the flow of the session.  By asking instant questions, the Facilitator can easily gauge how effectively the message is getting across, as well as ensuring that everyone in the audience remains actively engaged.  Xorro-Q tracks participation, so a Facilitator can recognise in class participation and award points on this basis without consideration to the "correctness" or otherwise of any contributions.

The missing factor for many has been the absence of assessment value to instant questions.  Assessment has been limited to questions prepared in advance, and so the motivational value of participation has been somewhat reduced for instant questions.  This has now changed:

Xorro-Q's Instant Questions can now be assessed just as instantly as they are launched and answered.  

In Xorro-Q, multi-choice instant questions can now be assessed when the results are in.  

Once the responses are in, select an option (right click, or touch-and-hold), and set it to "correct".  Score increment will be applied to participants who selected that option.Typically the Facilitator will close the question (to further submissions), then display the results to the group as a bar chart.  By right-clicking any option and setting it to "correct", the Facilitator now automatically adds to the scores for those participants who chose that option.  It's easy, and instant; it also encourages participation!

The benefits of assessing instant questions include:

  • participants are motivated to remain engaged and alert to the topic;
  • questions can be tailored to make them highly relevant and specifc to a topic under discussion;
  • participants commit more deeply once they have ventured an opinion (albeit silently).


Assessment for instant questions is presently only available for multiple choice questions.    We are working on incorporating assessment into the instant hotspot question type as well, so that on receiving a groups' Result (being a range of selected locations on the image), the Facilitator may circle (or "lasso") a sub-set of the range and set that to "correct".

About instant questions:

Xorro-Q's instant questioning functionality is lauded by educators for its ease of use and ease of access.  Whatever the context (eg slide show, video, speech), a "Facilitator" can spontaneously "ask" a question without breaking away from the flow of the presentation.  The the audience can just as instantly answer the question using their own devices.  A range of question types is supported, including multiple choice, numeric answer, text answer, and even hotspot clickable images.  The grouped responses can be displayed on the screen , and selected responses can be marked as "correct".  Every response is awarded a participation point, and "correct" responses can be awarded additional scores as well.

By being given "safe" opportunities to participate in class, audience members take a much closer interest in the topic. Being able to safely and anonymously experiment, venture their opinions or ideas, and use their existing knowledge to attempt or guess responses, participants can learn instantly from feedback as well as gain motivation from observing how their responses compared with those of peers. 

Relevant Xorro articles:  Get started with Instant Activities