We asked learning architect and expert Deb Templeton to answer when and how to use fill-in-the-blanks, true/false and multiple choice as assessment questions in your eLearning and other training courses. Here is what she said:
It depends on the content and what exactly you’re testing, what you need, and what you want the learner to walk away from doing that question. Sometimes, we can use questions to reinforce the learning, and we don’t necessarily want to test a learner for right or wrong. In that case, it could be a simple true or false question.
True and false questions
I would use true and false questions very sparingly, but they can be used to reinforce concepts and hammer home key points. Sometimes, it might seem too easy, but just having that validation and reinforcement that they have learned without a lot of input from them is just clicking true or false.
Fill-in-the-blank can be trickier. I would advise you to ensure the learner will easily discern the expected correct answer.
I wouldn’t use fill-in-the-blank for the “colour of the sky” is “blank” because it could be red if it’s a sunset, orange it could be gray if it’s rainy, or could be blue if it’s sunny. Again, I use fill-in-the-blank questions sparingly, and I look very critically at the wording of what the expected learner’s answer is going to be or could be.
It can be helpful to have multiple correct answers about multiple choice questions and always make sure that you pay attention to your distractors so that they aren’t entirely off-the-wall but seem realistic or credible. I tend to go to multiple choice for e-learning questions quite a bit.
There can be other ways of testing your knowledge through sorting or matching – anything with some interactivity.
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