3 Easy Ways to Write Better Multiple Choice Questions

Oct 3
multiple choice questions

3 Easy Ways to Write Better Multiple Choice Questions

With nClass, you can test your students’ knowledge on a day to day basis, but how do you make the most out of daily quizzes? The nClass team has these tips to help pick your students’ brains in a constructive way:

  1. Make students apply their knowledge

 It’s easy to memorize a concept, but are your students actually learning? Do your students know how to use it? If you write questions that force students to link concept and practical use, you’ll help them retain the information and think critically. Best of all, you’ll show students with a more tenuous grasp of concepts where they are weak before they make mistakes on the exam.

How to do this

Think of a real-world situation that applies to your concept. For example, don’t ask students to pick out the term “natural selection” from a definition. Instead, give an example of natural selection, such as shifts in color of peppered moths during the industrial revolution, and ask students to find the concept it best represents.

2. Have students interpret

Another great way to test your students’ grasp of concepts: have them interpret a chart or graph. Like a real world application, this also tests your students’ ability to make inferences using the concepts you teach, while making associations that aid memory for exams.

How to do this

Use real world data to make a chart or table. If you are teaching math, economics or finance, consider using financial tables to make students pick out and interpret the most important information. For a science course, include a table with hypothetical lab results. Both of these scenarios force students to use higher order thinking.

3. Be specific and test the questions on your peers

When you are reviewing your own questions it can be hard to spot ambiguity. Instead, try out questions on other experts to test whether your questions are actually challenging or just ambiguous.

How to do this

Have teaching assistants, students that have already taken your course or other teachers try out your questions first. If you don’t want to do this before your daily quizzes, instead, use data from your nClass daily quiz results when making exams. If you see a few questions were so difficult that less than 60% of the class got the answer right, then review these or have an aide review these questions for you.

Have any great tips for other nClass users? Tell us in the comments section.

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