The Grade Divide


Students and teachers don’t always agree about the value of online quizzes

By Kara Conley, Current Staff

This fall WBHS students were introduced to a new district-wide online application called Canvas, where they can see upcoming assignments, tests, and quizzes for their current courses.

Students can also retrieve links and worksheets from the days they were absent. “I like Canvas because it is easy to print out a worksheet that I might have forgotten at school,” said Ally Bensen, a sophomore at East.

Canvas has gotten a very positive response from students, with the exception of one specific detail.

In certain classes, students are being given quizzes on the site rather than on paper, and for some, it can be problematic. “It is harder for me to focus and I have trouble clicking on the bubbles to select my answers,” said Alex Canfield, a West sophomore. It may be more time-consuming than circling answers on a sheet of paper.

Another difficulty is that quizzes can be on Canvas without students even knowing it. The intention of Canvas is that students are checking it every day, but that isn’t always the case. “Teachers are becoming dependent on kids to do quizzes outside of school on Canvas,” said Anna Johnson, a sophomore at West Bend East.

“Teachers are becoming dependent on kids to do quizzes outside of school on Canvas.”
– Anna Johnson, East sophomore

However, some students say they obtain benefits from the quizzes on Canvas. “It is easy to access and my teachers are good about keeping it up-to-date,” West sophomore Noah Waech said.

Many teachers are quite fond of the online quizzes. For them, it is much easier to grade because the results log in immediately. They also have some neat tools they can use to help their classes succeed in the future.

“My favorite part of the quizzes is the Quiz Statistics button,” said Terry Brace Krueger, an East English teacher. “You can click on it and get an immediate chart of how everyone did instantly.” This is a great perk for students because it helps teachers to see what areas students struggle most in.

“What I like best about the online quizzes is the immediate feedback that students receive,” said Allison Holtzer, a business teacher at East. Teachers find this to be a wonderful aid because they don’t have to be badgered by students asking when the grades will be put into Skyward.

Brace Krueger also said that the quizzes ensure engagement for students and issues can be quickly resolved. “No longer is there the problem of lost quizzes or tests, and students can easily be given another try on quizzes on the site as well,” Brace Krueger said.

For teachers like Brace Krueger, the online quizzes make life easier and give students multiple means for success. For students like Canfield and Johnson, though, the online quiz-taking doesn’t quite pass the test.

(More student responses to Canvas can be found here.)

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