Improving Digital Testing with Variable and Adaptive Questions
Saxion is a Dutch educational institution that offers a range of academic programs, including bachelor’s degrees, master’s programs, and short certificate courses. It serves around 24,000 students; many are visual and hands-on learners who enjoy practical opportunities to apply their learning.
In 2018, Saxion started using Möbius to improve digital testing and provide more interactive course content. The platform was first deployed in the Mechanics of Materials course and has since been adapted to teach various design, engineering, and math courses.
Saxion chose Möbius because of its powerful math engine and the immediate, meaningful feedback on problems. Möbius provided practical and interactive lesson delivery and allowed faculty to create variable and adaptive questions for formative and summative assessments.
“During all of our mechanical courses, we offer our students three intermediate tests,” said Rijkeboer. “The final exam is also digital.”
The platform allows for more testing without putting too much of a burden on faculty.
“For us, as lecturers, it is easy to follow (and grade) large groups of students, making the intermediate tests possible (time-wise),” said Rijkeboer. “The variable and adaptive questions work great for the intermediate and final exams.”
Möbius helps to test large groups of students at once and allows for more testing, which Saxion often does to gauge how students are doing.
“When you have to check 100+ exams, it’s a major time saver,” said Rijkeboer.
The platform has also saved faculty time in creating exams.
“We have a lot of questions to choose from now for assessments,” said Rijkeboer. “We can build two exams in less than a day, when building the first digital exams would take two days.”
Using Möbius has also allowed lecturers to spend more time teaching and less time grading and creating exams.
“We have seen an increase in performance and activity for formative testing during courses using Möbius,” said Rijkeboer.
Teaching Courses Where Details Matter: Assessing What Students Know
In fields like engineering, small mistakes can have big consequences. Mechanical Engineering lecturers want to see not only a correct answer but that the process is accurate. They encourage pupils to respond in the appropriate measurement units. Möbius allows faculty to see the students’ process. Instructors can move beyond multiple-choice questions to better assess what students are learning and what concepts they fully understand.
“The reason I was enthusiastic about Möbius was the question feedback,” said Rijkeboer. “It leads you through the process. If students get an incorrect answer, they can see information about where they need to adjust their process.”
The faculty members emphasize correct processes, units of measurement, and accuracy because real-world mistakes can have big consequences.
“We’re trying to teach students this concept,” said Rijkeboer. “The method and answer both have to be correct.”
Growing the Use of Möbius to Deliver Engaging Lessons
Mechanical Engineering lecturers have also been using the platform for online lessons, replacing the need for a textbook in some courses. They find combining short videos and questions works best for engaging students. Saxion is growing the use of Möbius to make lessons more interactive and visual.
“Möbius allows us to incorporate short video clips into lessons,” said Rijkeboer. “I see in the future more use of video questions in Möbius where students can watch a video and practice immediately afterward.”
Using videos and interactive narratives in Möbius has been popular with students. The new format offers frequent opportunities to practice concepts and test understanding.
“Students prefer that now to a lecture,” said Rijkeboer. “It’s clear that Mobius is here to stay.”