What makes a good elearning question?

We’ve created a lot of elearning courses over the years, and a lot of quizzes and knowledge checks. Most of the multiple choice questions in these come in this format:

Q1: Which of these is the correct answer?

A. Answer 1

B. Answer 2

C. Answer 3

Correct Feedback: You’re right! The answer is A.

Incorrect Feedback: Incorrect. The answer is A.

In this case, the learner is only required to have memorized a fact and repeat it successfully. This doesn’t help with retention, especially if this isn’t a piece of information they need to use regularly. Also, feedback which tells rather than shows the learner why the choice they made is not the best is less likely to make an impact.

Suppose we were to frame the question this way:

Q2: Here is a scenario. How do you react to this situation?

A. I take Action 1

B. I take Action 2

C. I don’t take action

Feedback for A: This happened when you do Action 1.

Feedback for B: This happened when you do Action 2.

Feedback for C: This happened when you don’t act here.

For this question, the learner has to think about each of the outcomes for all the answers, and the feedback lets the learner decide if the result of their decision was what they wanted. This requires the learner to think more, and requires more problem solving to come to an answer.

Of course, questions like these are more difficult to write and requires more input from your SMEs to create scenarios that are realistic and relevant, but the payoff is that your learners will think more independently about the content!

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