If your online course is for experienced, smart, adult learners do you really need multiple-choice quizzes? I mean these aren’t school children. Well, the answer is, yes. You should use quizzes in your course. Here’s why.
Course quizzes help reinforce learning by making our brains retrieve information from memory.
Now think about taking a quiz and acing it. How does that make you feel? Probably like this little guy.
That’s because we all get a hit of Dopamine when we achieve something – so getting quiz questions right gives us a little happiness boost. Dopamine taps into the same neural circuitry involved in addiction but it’s more than just a pleasure chemical, it also plays a vital role in learning and reinforcing our behaviours. So, taking a quiz and getting a hit of Dopamine motivates us to keep going (and get more hits of Dopamine).
So, course quizzes are more than just a fun activity. They’re also quite useful tools for you as a course creator. They can help you figure out if there are any gaps in your lessons (where people aren’t quite ‘getting it’). Which in turn helps you refine your course content and improve your course’s effectiveness. It’s a win-win, right!
How to use quizzes
- Starting a lesson with a quiz is also a good idea. It gives course attendees a preview of what’s coming so they know what to expect from the lesson. And it gives you an idea of how much they know about the topic before the lesson starts vs what they retain after the lesson.
- You can use them to review information that your course attendees need to understand before they can move on to the next lesson.
- You can also use question and answer quizzes for problem-solving scenarios which can be reviewed in live sessions or group discussions.
- Mini-quizzes distributed throughout your course will help keep learners engaged and are also a great way to break up text-heavy lessons.
- If your course provides certification with a final exam, you can also use quizzes for exam practice.
Plan your quizzes
Planning your quizzes upfront helps you ensure that they’re properly aligned with your course content and lesson objectives. Also, if you ask great questions, you’ll get useful data about your audience’s understanding of the course content.
I’d recommend at least 3 questions but not more than 12 per lesson because at that point it gets too long, and people will drop off or just add random information. A couple of mini quizzes spread throughout the module works better than one long one at the end.
Before you start building your quizzes you need to be clear on the following:
What do you want them to walk away knowing?
What specific concepts do you want to reinforce?
What type of question would work best for your requirements?
Plan for questions that require thinking in different ways. The ancient Greeks had different terms for the theoretical knowledge of something (episteme) and know-how (techne). This is a bit like the difference between knowing how the steering wheel and gears in a car work theoretically – and knowing how to drive a car. Try to combine recall and comprehension questions (for the theory) along with application questions (can they actually apply the theory). That way you can figure out where they’re having problems. ie. Can they recall info, but not apply it. If they can’t apply it, you know there’s a problem you can tweak your lesson to make sure they get it.
Creating a quiz
Most course hosting platforms provide some quiz functionality – usually multiple-select/multiple-choice or simple question and (type in) answer fields. But if you want to get creative with your quizzes you could always use a separate quiz tool and embed it within your course platform.
Here are some quiz tools you should take a look at if you’d like to make your quizzes more engaging. They’re all pretty easy to use and embed into your course hosting platform.
- Typeform – Typeform makes quizzes/assessments intuitive for both the creator and the user. Typeform’s main differentiator is that they show one question at a time. It’s easy to use with drag-and-drop quiz builder tools. And there are numerous templates to choose from which can be customized to your course needs.
- Interact – Interact allows you to create quizzes like those fun ones you see on Facebook and Buzzfeed (ie what Game of Thrones character are you). They have 800+ fully editable quiz templates you can use. You can create scored quizzes where your quiz outcomes are based on adding up your total points. Create branching logic quizzes where you show quiz takers different questions depending on how they answer. You can add images to your quiz questions to increase engagement. And within an assessment built with Interact, you can show people the correct answer to each question immediately after they answer it. You can also provide an explanation of why the correct answer is the right one.
- Survey Anyplace – Survey Anyplace is one of the more advanced tools available, with skip logic, outcomes, and custom scoring that allow you to create highly personalised quizzes. They also allow you to provide a personalised feedback report for quiz takers to download at the end of the quiz.
So, if you hadn’t considered using quizzes in your course, I hope this has convinced you to use them. They’re incredibly useful tools.
Author: Lisa Oosthuizen
Lisa Oosthuizen, is the Founder of Setup Sidekick. She’s an author, course creator and course creation specialist who has been helping her clients get their courses created with ease since 2018.
If you’d like to learn how to create a course the easy and stress-free, way take a look at her book The Doable Course Creation Method
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