Learning Technology

Writing questions for quizzes in Moodle and Rogo

September 13th, 2018 at 07:09

Rogo e-assessmentWriting questions, such as multiple choice questions, for quizzes and tests, isn’t always easy. I like to try out quizzes sometimes and see if I can score well just by knowing how the questions work. It’s amazing how many online courses, MOOCs etc. I could have passed by gaming the quizzes…

Pitfalls to avoid

  • Try not to give clues for the correct option, e.g.,
  • Grammatical such as ending the stem with ‘an’ or ‘a’
  • Logical such as the correct item appearing in each option
  • Options that do not follow the stem grammatically or logically
  • Correct option is longer or more specific than others
  • Repeating a word in the correct option that is in the stem
  • Correct option includes the most element in common with other options
  • Avoid vague terms such ‘rarely’, ‘usually’, ‘always’ and ‘never’
  • Avoid negative questions such as ‘which of the following are not…’

Good practice

  • Put most of the detail in the stem and keep options short and roughly the same length
  • Make the options similar in grammatical structure and complexity
  • Ensure all distractors are plausible
  • Look at common errors and misconceptions as a source of distractors

Rogo-specific advice

  • Dichotomous and Extended Matching questions should have more than 1 stem. If not it is best to use an MCQ.
  • Only use Multiple Response when there is more than 1 correct option, otherwise use MCQ.
  • Multiple Response – If have 5 options where 4 are correct, the user can get 4 marks even if they select the 1 incorrect as well as 3 correct. Would be better as a MCQ asking for the 1 incorrect although negative questions not advised!
  • For image hotspots ensure the hotspot area is drawn correctly

Further Details

Case, S.M. & Swanson, DB. (1998) Constructing Written Test Questions for the Basic and Clinical Sciences. National Board of Medical Examiner
http://www.nbme.org/pdf/itemwriting_2003/2003iwgwhole.pdf Accessed 13th September 2018

Case, S.M. (1994) The use of imprecise terms in examination questions: how frequent is frequently? Academic Medicine
http://journals.lww.com/academicmedicine/Abstract/1994/10000/The_use_of_imprecise_terms_in_examination.24.aspx
Accessed 13th September 2018

Collins, J. (2006). Writing Multiple-Choice Questions for Continuing Medical Education Activities and Self-Assessment Modules RadioGraphics, 26, 543-551  https://pubs.rsna.org/doi/10.1148/rg.262055145  Accessed 13th September 2018

Fray, R. F. (1995) More Multiple-Choice Item Writing Dos and Don’ts, ERIC/AE Digest https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED398238  Accessed 13th September 2018

Questions about or problems with Moodle Quiz or Rogo?

Please contact the Learning Team at learning-team-support@nottingham.ac.uk

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