Which answer below identifies the correct theme of this map?
The answer: Soybean acreage. Too easy? Well, then, see if you can identify the correct theme of his map:
The answer? Percent of housing units that are mobile homes.
For many of us, the word "quizzes" or "tests", conjures up memories of stress or drudgery. For the educators reading these words, who deal with quizzes and tests on a daily basis, you know very well that creating quizzes that allow you to truly assess your students' progress, that engage your students, and that provide a way for them to reflect upon their learning and at the same time, move forward with content and skills is no easy task.
But how would you feel if some of the quizzes were of the type that you just took above? The above choropleth map quiz, or "choro-quiz", which I provide in its entirety as an attachment to this essay with 6 questions, invites students to think spatially about patterns, relationships, and trends. Ask them to defend their answer with data. Investigate each incorrect answer as well the correct answers and the reasons for the patterns that are shown. In the first example above, you could investigate satellite imagery or land use, determining why "land in farms" and "small rural communities" extends to a greater area than does the "soybean belt" above. In the second example above, students may have read about the higher divorce rate in Nevada, making that answer seem plausible, except when you investigate the area south of Hoover Dam and realize that you are looking at the mobile population along the Colorado River.
This type of quiz is easy to create in ArcGIS Desktop, which I used above, or ArcGIS Online. You could use static screen shots or in the case of ArcGIS Online, create a presentation, embed the quiz in a web page, or create a storymap for your quiz. Depending on the background or educational level of the students, you can change the scale from countries to states or provinces, and smaller units down to the neighborhood level, if you have the data. You can also make the correct answer fairly obvious, or create one or more choices that seem plausible. You can use different techniques as well, such as my Weird Earth and Name that Place quizzes.
Stuck? Would you like to see an answer key? The answer key is included in the attachment.
How might you be able to use this technique in your own instruction?