A common method to reinforce and check learning in classroom-based, or web-based training, is to include questions.
There are many types of objective questions such as true or false, multiple choice questions, match the following, drag and drop etc.
Learning occurs at many levels, from simple recall to problem solving. One of the best type of questions that can be used to check the learning is multiple choice questions (MCQs). MCQs are used for measuring three levels of Blooms Taxonomy – knowledge, comprehension, and application outcomes of various types of content, such as terminology, facts, principles, methods and procedures. MCQs are easy to grade and the learners are less likely to guess the correct answer, when compared to true or false.
MCQs include question stem, options and feedback.
- Question stem: The stem is the first part of the question that presents a problem to be solved.
- Options: The options include the correct answer and distracters. The incorrect answers are called distracters.
- Feedback: Feedback is the information you provide to the learners after they have selected the option. Providing feedback reinforces learning.
Let’s look at some of the guidelines to develop effective multiple choice questions in custom eLearning courses.
- Test questions must directly correlate to the course learning objectives, to ensure validity and alignment.
- Keep the question stem and options as short as possible.
World war II was (less effective)
In which of these time period was World War II fought? (more effective)
Ref:Instructional Assessment Resources (IAR)
- Avoid using negatives in the stem. If necessary, highlight by either capitalizing or bold facing them.
|Which one of the following factors is NOT associated with Type 2 diabetes?
Ref:academia.edu – constructing MCQs
- Use a question format instead of incomplete statements.
- When using incomplete statements avoid beginning with a blank space.
__________ is a synonym for courtesy. (less effective)
The synonym for courtesy is __________. (more effective)
Ref: Multiple Choice Alabama
- Options should be approximately the same length, because the longest ones is usually considered the correct answer
- Don’t use opposites as one of the distracters, because it often narrows the answer down to one of those answers
- Avoid “All of the above” option, because learners merely need to recognize two correct options to get the answer correct
- Avoid “None of the above” option, because you will never know if learners know the correct answer
- Avoid repeating words from the question stem in the alternatives, because it becomes a give way
- Have four options including one correct answer
- Feedback should be given so that learners learn from it
- State why the answer is correct or incorrect
- Just saying ‘you are correct’ or ‘sorry, you are wrong’ with no explanantion does not serve the purpose
- Feedback reinforces learning and instills confidence in the learner
Though many of them think it’s easy to frame MCQs, they actually do not know the psychological reason behind developing the MCQs. Lot of work has been done by E. L. Thorndike and Frederick J. Kelly, and I would strongly recommend you to read their books.
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There were a few letters marked “Never sent. Never signed” that were discovered in Abraham Lincoln’s desk after his death. When he was upset with someone he would write a letter expressing his anger but would refrain from sending it to the intended person. This practice allowed him to vent his anger, yet not allow needless or unpleasant consequences. One of the famous unsent letters was to Gen. George G Meade, who was blamed for letting Robert E Lee escape after Gettysburg. Unfortunately, in today’s age of social media, people have “lost the art of the unsent angry letter” – an expression used in a NY times article by Maria Konnikova.
It is common knowledge that good assessments play a key role in the making of an effective online course. They not only help evaluate the learner’s comprehension of the subject-matter, but also reinforce the learning effectively.
We all know the e-learning industry is full of acronyms. Even the word e-learning itself is the shorthand for electronic learning. As an e-learning professional, it is important to be familiar with various acronyms used in the field of e-learning. Here, I would like to share some acronyms that are commonly used in e-learning.
E-learning is increasingly used by organizations as online courses are effective, affordable and can be accessed anytime, anywhere. But, many organizations are not able to realize these benefits offered by the online training medium due to a serious problem – high dropout rates.
Day-by-day, the demand for rapid e-learning is increasing, and so, everyone is using rapid authoring tools to develop online courses. There are many authoring tools available in the market but a few became very popular. Most of our customers and prospects prefer Articulate Storyline to other rapid authoring tools such as Captivate and Lectora. Developing courses in Storyline is very easy, and the tool offers a lot of flexibility to customize the features or look and feel of the online course.
When it comes to mobile learning, HTML5 with responsive design is required to provide the best learning experience on mobiles, especially on smart-phones with small screens. Courses developed in Storyline and Lectora work fine on mobile devices such as iPads and other tablets, but it is difficult to view them in smart-phones. Captivate has a responsive design feature. So, we must choose it if we need to develop courses for all mobile devices. Captivate is not very intuitive and flexible to develop customized features. We can also build mobile- compatible courses using manual coding but it is time-consuming and expensive.
Recently, I read the E-learning Guild report “Authoring Tool for Mobile Design” and in it, I saw the great news for which I was waiting for a while. I thought I should share it with you all. The developers of Articulate Storyline, Lectora Inspire, Lectora Online and other authoring tools are in the process of adding responsive design feature by the end of 2015.
Here is some information from the E-learning Guild report “Authoring Tool for Mobile Design”.
|Scales to multiple screen sizes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Responsive design features||Coming by end of 2015||Yes||Coming by end of 2015|
2016 will be a watershed year for mobile learning as all courses may be made compatible to all mobile devices. Storyline may become the first choice to develop e-learning or m-learning courses because of its intuitiveness. This may force all learning management systems to be compatible with mobile devices. MOODLE is ahead in this regard, and it has a responsive design feature and works on all the mobile devices.
Hope you find this post useful. Do share your views.
Despite today’s technology and a connected world, classroom training is still an effective method to impart training to all employees. But, instructor-led teaching may not be appropriate for all training needs. Suppose there is a requirement for an organisation to train its employees spread across the globe, on a particular product, in a month’s time, classroom training will not serve the purpose. Here, e-learning serves as a good option to train employees, at comparatively lower costs, within a given schedule. Due to improvements in reliability and speed, converting classroom training materials into online courses has become a justified and cost-effective opportunity.
In my previous blogs, I have discussed about the importance of instructional design strategy and visual design strategy, the two main elements of e-learning in terms of design approach. In this blog, I will discuss about the significance of audio and audio strategy.
Every organization has to follow a set of laws which govern their sector in the country they operate. So, it needs to ensure that the employees are effectively trained on these rules to avoid compliance issues. Traditionally, this was done through face-to-face training in an engaging manner. But, with organizations expanding globally and the need for constant training, companies started using e-learning to quickly reach their global employees.
E-Learning is gradually replacing the classroom training format, worldwide. 41.7 % of fortune 500 companies are using e-learning tools for online training (E-learning Magazine 2013).
Online courses need to be engaging and interactive because they are self-paced i.e. an instructor is not present to deliver the courses.
Content comprehension is an important step in the e-learning development process. It broadly includes identification of relevant content and its separation from irrelevant content and arranging it in a proper manner. It enables instructional designers (IDs) to ensure that topics ‘flow’ in a logical sequence. It also helps IDs to find gaps in the content. If performed effectively, it will help you understand the subject-matter of the course better, and you will be able to present the content in an easily understandable manner.