Eliminate high stakes exams -- consider using multiple, short assessments
Implement more project-based deliverables to replace high stakes exams
Replace multiple choice questions with short answer or essay
Randomize the order of the questions and the order of the answers within a question, and if appropriate, generate different values for variables
Use multiple types of assessments, e.g. short quizzes, forums, polling, papers, group activities
Utilize the services of plagiarism checker software like Turnitin for short answer or essay questions, or perhaps even forum postings
Utilize the services of either an online, like ProctorU, or face-to-face proctoring service
- Have a clear Code of Conduct or academic integrity statement in the syllabus
Consider a brief evaluation of student knowledge to be used as a baseline prior to introducing a specific topic
Questions must focus on should be directly related to learning objectives
Focus questions on what you most want people to know at the end of course.
Avoid testing trivial topics.
Questions should assess knowledge or skill
Focus on content.
Write questions clearly with correct grammar and spelling.
Consider the reading level.
Incorrect choices must be plausible
Good multiple choice questions have realistic incorrect answer choices. Avoid giveaway choices
Use Question Words
Begin question stems or phrases with a question word.
Correct: How often does a student need to attend to get a good grade?
Correct: If a student has a concern, what is the first step in addressing his/ her concern?
Incorrect: Select two (2) features of…
Objectives Drive Questions
A question should reflect the objective.
If an objective involves problem-solving, then test question should involve problem-solving.
For example, a problem-solving question might provide a scenario.
Avoid Negatives in Stem
Phrase the question stem in the positive.
Correct: A student has not been given correct information. What could you do to address the problem?
Incorrect: When writing good questions, which of the following is NOT important?
Use Scenarios to assess higher-order thinking
Ex- Correct: Given the scenario shown, which solution represents the best method for preventing patient falls?
Limit number of answer choices
Use consistent number of answer choices.
Limit to 3 or 4.
Do not create questions in which all answers are correct
Use plausible distracters
Distracters should not include give away answer
Distracters should be plausible
Identify common misconceptions or errors
Create test questions that align with your stated objectives and test the level of comprehension desired.
Multiple choice questions: test knowledge, comprehension, application, and analysis. They are limited because they can be less valid due to guessing and poor distracters
True/False questions: are easy to score and quick to complete for the learner. Because there is a 50% chance of selecting the correct answer, they are not as valid as other forms of assessment.
Short answer and matching questions: Save space and test information similar to multiple-choice, but may take longer to score.
Essays: Test higher level skills and give insight into learner’s understanding. Essays test only focus on a few concepts, and take longer to complete and score.