Over the summer, I created banks of questions for as many Theory I topics as possible.
The problem was:
Resources for students to practice basic music theory subjects are scattered around the internet. There are many sites that have passable drills in one subject or another, but not one complete site. And many of these passable drills are lacking in one area or another.
The solution was:
Create my own question banks within Canvas with standard practices and music notation. From those, to create practice quizzes that students could use to drill themselves and improve their performance on many theory subjects.
To do so, I needed to create thousands of image files, questions, question banks, and audio files. In addition, I learned how to edit Canvas .qti files to speed up the process of creating hundreds of possible questions for various banks.
I also experimented with using Canvas’ file structure to store the asset files, but discovered it is much better to host the assets off-site using either Amazon S2 services or–as I later decided–my web host.
As an example of how involved this process was, to create a drill of all possible intervals on just one clef, I ended up with 26 question banks with an aggregate of 702 questions. Each question required making a music notation graphic and a Canvas .qti file containing every question with correct answers.
The topic list and number of questions follows:
- Dynamic Matching 1 bank, 1 question
- Interval ID: 26 banks, 702 questions
- Key Signature ID: 3 banks, 60 questions
- Key Signature Matching: 3 banks, 30 questions
- Meter Classification: 1 bank, 18 questions
- Note ID (All Clefs): 5 banks, 92 questions
- Relative Major/Minor: 1 bank, 30 questions
- Rhythm Beaming: 1 bank, 10 questions
- Rhythmic Equivalences: 5 banks, 188 questions
- Scale Building: 6 banks, 57 questions
- Scale Degrees: 2 banks, 22 questions
- Scale Identification: 6 banks, 65 questions
- Scientific Pitch Notation: 3 banks, 40 questions
- Seventh Chord Building: 25 banks, 352 questions
- Seventh Chord ID: 27 banks, 352 questions
- Seventh Chord Inversion ID: 20 banks, 1680 questions
- Term Matching: 1 bank, 2 questions
- Time Signature ID: 1 bank, 19 questions
- Triad Building: 18 banks, 204 questions
- Triad ID: 6 banks, 69 questions
- Triad Inversion ID: 16 banks, 819 questions
TOTAL: 177 banks, 4812 questions
In addition, I created specific quizzes for both Theory I and Aural Theory I for any assignment that could be created online. Eventually the need for students to notate music on a staff limits what can be accomplished using current online technologies, however much of the material for the early theory subjects can be completed online.
The actual list of question banks makes it impossible to take a screenshot, but here’s a partial list: