It is important for language teachers to encourage students to improve their vocabulary outside of class because class time is limited. One way to facilitate vocabulary learning outside of class is online vocabulary learning courses. This paper reports an attempt to facilitate online vocabulary learning with vocabulary quizzes in class, mainly focusing on the results of questionnaires about the online vocabulary material presented and the vocabulary quiz used.
The participants were 93 first-year students enrolled in compulsory English reading classes at Hiroshima University. They were instructed to use online vocabulary learning materials outside of class to prepare for vocabulary quizzes conducted at the beginning of each class, such that students were to finish four units and learn 32 words before each class. The quiz consisted of 12 randomly selected words and required students to correctly write the target word filling a gap in a sentence. Overall, there were 13 quizzes per term, and 416 words from 52 units were learned.
Students’ learning logs showed that most of them accessed a unit once and spent approximately 4 to 5 minutes per unit. They scored 9–10 on average out of 12 points for the quizzes. The survey on the online course showed that most of the students found it useful. Moreover, the majority of students found the quizzes useful and the number of target words appropriate. The free description included both positive and negative comments about the repetitive construction of the online material. For the quiz, there were some positive comments about the format and study habit formation. Overall, the survey suggested that the online material helped students learn vocabulary and that the in-class quiz served as a good pacemaker. The educational implications and improvements for future practice are discussed.