Bad questions

I recently started work on the instruction manual for the site. It was all pleasingly straightforward (click on ‘New quiz’ to create a new quiz). However, when it came to writing questions I couldn’t leave it at that. I’ve spent many years writing MCQ and there are just too many pitfalls that I wanted to steer users away from.

I was reminded of a post by Cathy Moore (@CatMoore a US-based instructional designer): Can you answer these 6 questions about multiple choice questions. This is the perfect introduction to what happens when people are forced to generate MCQ without expertise or quality control.

If we want to use MCQ regularly, there are several potential solutions to this issue:

  • Have professionals write the questions
  • Provide extensive training and writing time to teachers
  • Make the mechanism less susceptible to these issues

If you are a regular reader, you’ll know which one of these I think is the solution. By providing a tool that turns basic statements into challenging questions (and meaningful data) we give every teacher the power to use MCQ to best effect.

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