COVID 19 update: Please refer to this document instead:  Academic Integrity for Course Site Quizzes

Think beyond the exam. There are many ways to assess student learning:
case write ups
computer case simulations
online interactive testing
faculty feedback during task performance
formal presentations of cases
formalized faculty observations
laboratory report
multiple choice examinations
observation of skills
oral exams
one-minute essay
procedure logs
reading quiz
short essays or reports
video projects/digital storytelling
written exams
peer feedback and evaluation
performance checklists

Effective Efficient Grading Guide

Instructional Design Recommendations

Course Management Recommendations 

Library Guide to Designing Research Paper Assignments

Assessment Creation Recommendations



Questions 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

Design Evaluation

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.

How to Build Good Questions

Please write questions that correspond with each of your learning objectives. At least 10 questions will be pulled from a “test bank” to ensure each learner has a unique test. The more questions you write for the “test bank”, the greater the variety will be between tests and the more difficult it will be for users to cheat.

Consider writing your test questions in the form of a scenario. Placing the content into a real world context will test your students on how they will be able to apply the information.

You may write your test questions in the following formats:

Most of the recommendations above will benefit F2F classes and could be implemented for various modes of course delivery. 

Tools for Creating Assessments and Engagement