B.C. now has its first psychology open test bank to complement our existing psychology open textbooks: 851 questions on 15 topics, created over two days by a dedicated team of instructors.

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In June, BCcampus hosted its first ever textbook sprint that saw a geography open textbook written in just four days.

The event was such a success that BCcampus decided to do it again. In July, BCcampus, the NOBA Project, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and Kwantlen psychology instructor Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani coordinated another sprint. However, instead of writing a book, the focus of this two-day sprint was on creating questions for psychology instructors to use in conjunction with open textbooks. The organizers called it the “Great Psychology Test Bank Sprint.” Instructors from six post secondary institutions: Kwantlen, Thompson Rivers University, Camosun College, Northern Lights College, Capilano University, and the University of the Fraser Valley gathered to write questions for use in introductory psychology courses.

Testbank sprint creates questions to complement open psychology textbooks

Open textbooks are becoming a popular choice for instructors,” said Dr. Jhangiani. “However, most don’t come with any supporting materials such as PowerPoint presentations, instructor activity manuals, or test questions.” He said one of the biggest issues with open textbooks—and traditional textbooks—is the lack of high quality test questions.

Testbank questions are more efficient and save time

“When it comes to traditional textbooks, the questions that are provided often aren’t very good because they’re not always written by faculty,” said Dr. Jhangiani. “You end up spending a lot of time tweaking the questions or writing new ones.” Considering instructors’ workloads, and the fact sessional instructors are often asked to teach multi-section courses with only a few weeks’ notice, revising the supplied questions isn’t always feasible. Testbanks can help solve this problem, by providing a large group of questions to accompany open textbooks.

The test bank is available to any post-secondary instructor

The test bank is can be imported into any learning management system. To get access, faculty members can email opentext@bccampus.ca from their institutional email address. The testbank is also being distributed by the NOBA project, a free website that contains textbooks and related resources.

Notable quotes

I was seeing a lot of my colleagues reticent to adopt open textbooks because they had to write their own questions. – Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani, Psychology Professor, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

There are certain topics, subtopics, theories, and concepts that should be in any psychology textbook. When we were writing the testbank, we wanted to ensure the questions were of high quality and not attached to any specific open or traditional textbook. We wanted to be “testbank-agnostic.” – Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani, Psychology Professor, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

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