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Creating Effective Questions for eLearning Courses

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Creating Effective Questions for eLearning Courses

Quizzes are the most commonly used tool for assessment in any eLearning course. Hence, it is important that you frame them right; to frame the right question, it’s important to understand the basic rules of writing a question in any eLearning course.

A quiz question generally consists of three parts (i) the question and (ii) the options and (iii) the feedback. They are parallel in nature and one cannot do without the other. Let’s see how to combine these three components together to frame good questions.

Question: The question is an important aspect and therefore must always be aligned with the course objective; we often forget that the objectives of a course is the basis or foundation for the final quiz, for example, if your objective is Define panic attack, then your question should be – Panic attack is a sudden surge of overwhelming ________. Always remember to ask yourself whether or not your question supports the objective of a course.

Once you have set your question according to the objective, remember to keep it clean and simple. Confusing your learners with a tricky question will only discourage them. The primary purpose of your question is to measure the knowledge of your learner and not to expose their ignorance; so, you would never want the learner to give a wrong answer because of a wrongly framed question.

Now that we know about framing the right question, let’s see about their options,

Options: The most difficult part of writing any quiz is writing the options; they either make or break your quiz! When writing down your answer and its distractors make sure your distractors are reasonable and make sense, for example, a good distractor looks something like this

Panic attack is a sudden surge of overwhelming ________


You don’t want to give the answer away but make the learner think, understand and answer. A bad distractor looks something like this:

Which of the following are the self-help tips that decelerate a panic attack? Select two.


This not only looks silly but undermines the intelligence of your learner; you don’t want to throw away the answer just like that.

As mentioned earlier, never try to confuse your learner; the same applies to the options. It is best to stay away from options such as all of the above or none of the above. It will either look as a tricky question or just give away your answer.

Feedback: Once your learner answers the question, it is essential to provide feedback if the answer is right or wrong. Your quiz gets an enhanced quality if you provide the proper and right justification to the answer.

For example, if the question is; In ________ the patient is exposed to the physical sensations of panic in a safe and controlled environment.

Correct Response Feedback: Yes. That’s correct.

Incorrect Response Feedback: No. That’s incorrect. In exposure therapy the patient is exposed to the physical sensations of panic in a safe and controlled environment.

Writing your quiz questions doesn’t always have to be challenging. All you have to do is to take some time to think about the questions and how you can make them work better for you. The purpose of a quiz is to test knowledge, while enhancing it at the same time.

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  • W.M. Deegalla

    Thank you SO MUCH. This is very very effective for ones who are new to this field