There you are, sitting at your desk, trying to finish your eLearning course. You only have one more thing to do before it gets reviewed. Write a few quiz questions. The problem is that you are stuck. You don't know where to start, so you scroll through each page of your course looking for questions to ask. You find a slide, write a quiz question, and then skip a few more slides looking for the next topic.
"Am I skipping important material to test?" you ask yourself. "How do I know if I am testing what is important?"
These are common questions among eLearning designers, and they can be easily solved with a simple system for writing quiz questions.
Here's what you do.
Start by putting all of your learning objectives in one place. Place them in a Word document, in Evernote, or in whatever tool you use to create content. The point is to put these learning objectives in a separate place from your course content, so that you can see both windows. Now that you have your learning objectives listed in one place, you can begin.
Write two to five quiz questions for each learning objective.
It's as simple as that.
Just go down the list and create a few questions on each. First of all, this process keeps it simple. You just go down the list until you are done. Second, if you write quiz questions on each learning objective, you know you are testing the important information that your learners need to learn.
Some designers like to write questions before writing course content believing it helps them write better content and activities. I like writing the content first, so that I have something to reference when writing questions. Either way, you can make it a lot easier on yourself, if you simply write quiz questions for each learning objective.
The second thing to do as you write quiz questions is to mix up the question type. The worst thing you can do is to make all of your quiz questions multiple choice or True/False. It is much better to mix up the questions types to engage learners than to show them the same format over and over. Mindflash makes it easy to mix up the questions types with features that include multiple choice, True/False questions, Label Items in Pictures, and Sequencing questions.
You can make it as complicated as you want, but when it comes right down to it, you want to assess people based specifically on the course objectives. If you make sure to write questions for each learning objective and mix up the type, you will make sure to test on the most important objectives of the course and maximize learner engagement.
Bill Cushard, author, blogger, and learning experience (LX) designer, is a human performance technologist (HPT) with extensive, in-the-trenches experience building learning organizations in start-up and hyper-growth organizations like E*TRADE, the Knowland Group, and Accenture. You can follow him on Twitter or on Google+.