Quiz #4: Criminal Cases



From the Federal Judicial Center



This is an online 10-question quiz relating to other resources on the Federal Judicial Center site.  The quiz tests students' knowledge about what criminal courts do (see the FJC page here for a brief summary of the distinctions between a civil and criminal court).  

When used as a culminating exercise either for a presentation based on the FJC site (see the linked resource, What the Federal Courts Do), this quiz is a good way to bring together in a conclusion a talk on criminal cases.

The quiz uses different kinds of questions — at time the quiz (as in the graphic on this page) asks simple True/False questions, but other questions are more nuanced, where the answers are less obvious.  For example, one question gives a scenario involving “Defendant Dan” and “Witness Wanda” in testing students on the issue of hearsay.

If this quiz is worked on online by students, an advantage of the online format is that the students are able to self-check their answers.  The quiz format gives users the correct answers if they guessed wrong — before moving on to the next question.  The corrected answers also provide students with a brief explanation of the correct response.  Use of a quiz allows students to see what they actually retained from listening to a talk (or reading the FJC resources).  

The exercise is also a helpful classroom tool, because if a student did not get much from a lecture or reading, the mere fact of taking the quiz would reinforce the most important information.

Caution:
The questions are quite sophisticated, but emerge out of material elsewhere on the site, and serve, especially via the "check answers" component, to reinforce key concepts and issues.

 

How do you use it?


This quiz is best used as a review following a presentation; this is not a stand-alone resource. This quiz could be given as-is to ensure that an audience retained the key concepts of civil course, but the questions could also be migrated over to a PowerPoint presentation and used as core points for a talk to high school and especially college students interested in government and politics, criminal justice and law.  

If the quiz is used alone, following a judge's presentation, for example, it can serve to give the users direct feedback to see if they’ve what they've learned and retained.  Depending on how the quiz is given, a computer or hand-outs would be needed if individuals were to complete the answers by themselves.  If the quiz was going to be done by a group, a projector/smart board for an oral test/group discussion would be sufficient.  A blackboard would also work for answers.

This interactive quiz holds students' attention, but also forces them to think about their answers, pushing them to actively learn the content. At the end of the quiz, links to additional readings about civil cases could be provided for a more in-depth learning experience. 

Caution:  
Students with little knowledge of criminal cases would be unable to complete the quiz.  This resource must be done in conjunction with another resource or after a quite detailed presentation.  It is a good tool, however, for measuring achievement of learning objectives.  It is a a solid tool to add to another lesson at the end, rather than be a single resource.



Who is the audience?

This quiz is primarily geared to high school and college students, but with some more context and explanation it could be adapted to fit the needs of a younger audience.



What other resources will complement this?

  1. A Conversation on the Constitution: Jury Service  Videos and lesson plan from the Leonore Annenberg Institute for Civics (M, H, A)
  2. Civil Mock Trials  Case study/mock trial from Street Law (H, A)
  3. Considering the Constitution  Document from Scholastic (P, M, H) 
  4. Court Shorts: Jury Service  Video from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (M, H, A)
  5. Criminal Mock Trials  Case study/mock trial from Street Law (H, A)
  6. Deciding by Group: You Are the Jury  Document from Scholastic (P, M, H)  
  7. Juror Selection  Document from Scholastic (M, H) 
  8. Pathways to the Bench  Videos from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (H)
  9. Quiz #3: Civil Cases  Lesson Plan from the Federal Judicial Center (M, H, A)
  10. Texting While Driving  Case study/mock trial from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (H, A)
  11. Trial Court 'Go Fish'  Game from iCivics (P, M)

Additional Recommended Resources Off-Site Links

  1. A Constitutional Timeline
    • Multi-aged audience timeline that highlights key dates in history of Constitution, with links to text, audio and video clips. From National Constitution Center's Constitution Day site. 
  2. Interactive Constitution
    • Multi-aged audience site that enables users to search Constitution by keyword or topic, with access to explanatory materials throughout. From National Constitution Center.   
  3. The Annenberg Guide to the United States Constitution
    • Multi-aged audience site that lists the text of each section of every article in the Constitution, and provides explanation of what the text means in plain language.  From the Leonore Annenberg Institute of Civics. 
  4. Understanding the Federal Courts
    • Multi-aged online textbook-type document that includes sections on Article III, the Federal Court system and the geographical boundaries of the Courts of Appeal and the District Courts, the code of conduct for judges, juror qualifications, exemptions and terms of service, as well as categories of bankruptcy cases.  From the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts.
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