instructional design

How to create perfect quizzes for your online courses

3 min read Lisa Belchior, Project Manager & ID Expert

When creating online courses, using quizzes is crucial to interact with your learners, assess retention, reinforce knowledge or promote awareness. However, to create the perfect quiz, there are some things you need to know.

What formats of quiz Q&A can you choose from?

In the bugle platform, you have five types of quiz Q&A to choose from, and you can use a mix of these types of Q&A for each quiz:

Single choice: using text or images for the options, you can define one correct answer.
Multiple choice: using text or images for the options, you can define more than one correct answer.
Order: you give learners a list of events and ask them to place them in the correct order.
Association: you give learners two lists of options and ask them to match assets from one to the other.
Text input: you leave a blank space in a sentence for the learner to fill with the correct word(s).

What can you achieve with quizzes?

You can use quizzes in online training to fulfill different training objectives such as:
- Assess / monitor knowledge;
- Promote reflection about a specific topic or case study;
- Increase engagement and retention;
- Motivate the learners.

When to use a quiz

You can use a quiz at any point in a course: before or after each chapter, depending on the objective of the quiz.

For example: at the end of a module, after complex/technical chapters, in between or after case studies to assess knowledge retention. Or, at an introduction to motivate, help the student remember something or promote reflection.

How many questions should a quiz have?

This is one of the questions we receive a lot. The usual, and correct, answer is actually: it depends. We recommend three questions in an introduction stage, or at the end of a case study or module; and six questions at the end of a module with more than three chapters.

However, this is a rule of thumb. Make sure each quiz has no more than ten questions, but other than that, consider one question per key topic on its related chapter(s).

Tips to write quiz questions

- Quiz questions should have different formats: use a mix of the question formats identified in the first block of this article;
- Make sure that your questions are about the content conveyed in the course;
- Questions should follow the same alignment as the course content;
- Questions should match what you expect students to learn and follow KPIs established for each module/chapter;
- Questions should follow the rules defined for the different formats and the training platform you are using;
- When using bugle, the instructions are presented by the platform, by default, so you don’t have to include any in the question (ex.: “Pick the correct 2 answers”), but if you’re using a platform that doesn’t have this feature, make sure to clearly state what your learner must do;
- Questions should present a problem or a situation;
- Questions should not give away the answer.

Tips to write quiz answers, options and distractors

As important as the questions, the way you define and write the different answers or options to be selected will impact learners’ retention, understanding and reduce frustration.

Here are some tips you can follow:
- The number of options should be different depending on the quiz’s format;
- Answers should be written clearly, avoiding multiple interpretations, and work independently;
- Answer options should be as short as possible;
- Answers shouldn’t be written in the negative form;
- Distractors, although wrong, should be plausible;
- Options: whenever possible, present 4 options: 1 correct, and 3 distractors. One of the distractors should be obviously wrong. When you have only 3 options you can leave that one out;
- Avoid the following options: “none of the above” or “all of the above”;
- A good distractor is the one that’s selected by the less prepared students and ignored by the more prepared ones;
- When writing distractors, think about the most common mistakes;
- Options should follow a logical order (ascending or descending), when applicable.

Question: In NLP, what are representational systems?
Correct answer:
- Cognitive processes of systematisation of the information
- Techniques and procedures used to communicate through infographics
- Different channels through which we represent thinking, acknowledge and express information
- Processes used in geometry to represent geometric solids

And that’s it. If you follow these guidelines, you’ll be able to create great quizzes that will help you accomplish your training goals and improve your learners’ experience.

Creating an effective online course certification


Other article you may find interesting:

How to convert in-person training into online delivery (guide)
Tips to quickly create & deliver a professional-looking online course (article)
5 free tools for video creation – the bugle selection (article)
Free tools for low-cost professional looking video production (article)

Why digital training is the smart choice for your business (article)
12 tips to choose the right training platform (article)

Would you like to learn more about how bugle can help you improve your training programme? 
Let's talk.

Tags: instructional design, training tips


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