Understanding factors affecting participation in online formative quizzes: An interview study

Ancil J. Abney, Sarina Amin, Jonathan D. Kibble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


A positive correlation between performance and participation in formative quizzes and final summative examinations has been reported many times. The goal of the present interview study was to construct a model to explain why students may elect not to engage with formative assessment opportunities. Our medical school's preclinical curriculum has an established policy of offering weekly online quizzes in all courses during the first 2 yr. Quizzes do not count for credit. Semistructured interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim, and a formal thematic analysis was applied. A total of 16 in-depth interviews were conducted, with 8 female and 8 male participants. Thematic analysis revealed four major interacting themes that we propose to converge to account for nonparticipation in quizzes: 1) inadequate feedback, 2) curriculum organization and student mistrust, 3) time constraints, and 4) fear of judgment. We propose seven practice points to improve the effectiveness of formative assessment quizzes of medical knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-463
Number of pages7
JournalAdvances in Physiology Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The American Physiological Society.


  • Feedback
  • Formative assessment
  • Hidden curriculum
  • Online quiz


Dive into the research topics of 'Understanding factors affecting participation in online formative quizzes: An interview study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this