Selecting Question Types
Automatically graded question types include multiple-choice, multiple-answer, true or false, matching, and fill-in-the-blank questions. Most authors will plan for multiple choice questions, and implement other question types only when doing so suits the content covered.
- Multiple-answer questions are useful variations of multiple-choice questions. Keep in mind, though, that these questions are more difficult for students to answer correctly since they must choose all of the correct answers to receive full credit/points.
- True or false questions are most beneficial in pre-testing. However, these questions often do not measure student competency in a meaningful way. Use this question type sparingly to ensure your quizzes provide students the best opportunities to assess their skills.
- Matching questions are most beneficial for testing recall of large numbers of items (for example, Spanish vocabulary). Remember that each matching question must include at least three answer options.
- Fill-in-the-blank questions are useful for checking students’ recall of individual items. However, these questions should be limited to one fill-in-the-blank item each; multiple fill-in-the-blank items in a single question have a stronger likelihood of error.
- Consider if students will be able to type in each response exactly as the right answer.
- Provide additional acceptable answers that you anticipate students might submit (e.g., moon, the moon, Moons) and write clear instructions.
For lower-division courses, plan to use primarily multiple choice, multiple response, and fill-in-the-blank question types.
For upper-division or graduate courses, essay questions can be a powerful assessment tool. We recommend creating a bank of auto-graded questions for student practice or assessment, and including essay questions as assignments or in the instructor resources.