How to make the most of your courses in Quest
If you are a student reading this, you may be taking a course that uses the Quest Learning & Assessment tool. So, what does that mean? Now that you have Quest at your fingertips, how should you be using it (and class time) to maximize your learning experience?
- Take notes as you watch the videos. Try to keep a notebook just like you would if going to class.
- Feel free to hit pause and talk to others as you all work through lessons.
- Review your notes and circle areas you have questions about. Write the questions down.
- Use email, Piazza/discussion-board, or class time to share questions with the instructor, TA, or other students. Google other online resources and do some background research.
- If the instructor has created learning modules with questions in Quest, write down the questions and how they were connected to the video lectures.
- Come to class ready to solve problems. When your instructor has asked you a question in class, connect it to the online lectures you watched prior to class.
- As you look at the homework problems, try to make a connection between the questions and the ideas you learned in the online tutorials.
- Think of your instructor as your personal fitness trainer. Your instructor is there to coach you, encourage you, and point to areas where you need improvement. But your instructor cannot do the learning for you, just like a personal trainer can’t lift your weights.
Quest Learning & Assessment is a non-profit organization at the University of Texas at Austin College of Natural Sciences maintaining a web-based tool for instructors and students of mathematics and science. Originally created as the UT Physics Homework Service as early as 1991, the system was updated and moved to the College of Natural Sciences in 2002 to provide service to the broader array of STEM courses. It is being used at over 1,000 U.S. institutions; high schools as well as 2-yr/4-yr colleges and universities.
Questions and Assignments
Instructors can create homework, quizzes and exams from a large pool (over 75,000) of Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Physical Sciences and Computer Science questions. Most questions have built-in variations, so Quest can create custom assignments for each student. Students get immediate feedback when answering questions and can view step-by-step solutions after the assignment due date has passed.
The default grading system uses a "guessing neutral" system similar to the SAT grading scheme. Instructors also have the ability to set the grading system to an "item neutral" scale where points are not deducted from the assignment for failed questions. If a student gets an answer correct they are awarded points, however points are subtracted for incorrect answers to discourage guessing in both of these models. Additionally, instructors can use "One Free Try" grading in order to encourage students to re-try a question before being penalized.