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How to Frame Distractors for eLearning Course?

Written By Induja Gurukuntala

How to Frame Distractors for eLearning Course?

The best way to assess the learners’ cognitive level is by conducting assessments at the end of the eLearning course. These assessments can be written in a creative way such that they reinforce the learning to the learners. Just like framing questions is a very important step in an eLearning course, framing good distractors for these questions is also equally important.

The most common type of questions used in an eLearning course is MCQs. These MCQs can be either single select or multiple select.

What are distractors?

 

Distractors are the options other than the correct option or options. They are the plausible but incorrect options of a question. These distractors need to distract the learners but should also make the learner think over the correct option. They should not be give-away distractors, directly leading to the answer.

What are distractors?

Why are they used in an eLearning course?

Distractors are used to test the cognitive ability of learners. They help learners to analyze the question, apply the knowledge and then select a correct option. They allow learners to compare all the options for a question and even understand why the correct option is correct.

How can they enhance the learning process?

How can they enhance the learning process?

Distractors can maintain the difficulty level of the question. A question having more than one plausible option makes it difficult to answer. This may make the learner think and answer; this helps in reinforcing what he has learnt

How to frame them?

Making use of good distractors can enhance the learning because it makes the learner analyze the best option among the given options.

Here is a list of the factors to keep in mind while framing distractors.

How to frame them?

1. Grammatically similar

Make sure that all the options including the distractors are similar grammatically. They should also be of the same length to maintain consistency throughout the course.

Example: Correct method

Correct method

Incorrect method

Incorrect method

2. Frame plausible distractors

The aim of using distractors must be to make the learner think and analyze the options before selecting and not to confuse them. These distractors should have similar content as that of the correct option or options. It is not advisable to use complex distractors because it would create unnecessary ambiguity in the minds of the learners.

Example: Correct method

Correct method

Incorrect method

Incorrect method

3. Randomize the correct options

The order of the correct options should be arranged randomly. Make sure that the answers are not mostly in options ‘a’ or ‘b’.

Example: Correct method

Correct method

Incorrect method

Incorrect method

4. Maintain the number of options

It is always advisable to maintain a consistent number of options for all the questions. The ideal number of distractors for a question is 3 to 5.

Example: Correct method

Correct method

Incorrect method

Incorrect method

5. Minimize using ‘None of the above’ and ‘All of the above’

Often distractors such as None of the above’ and ‘All of the above’ are used when there is a shortage for options. It is better to minimize these usages.

Example: Correct method

Correct method

Incorrect method

Incorrect method

6. Avoid using combination of options

It is not a good choice to combine the options and make it as a distractor. It rules out one option as a giveaway for the learner if one of them is surely correct or it can confuse the test-taker unnecessarily.

Example: Correct method

Correct method

Incorrect method

Incorrect method

Distractors are for testing the learners’ cognitive level to analyze and implement the knowledge acquired after taking the course.

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