Monthly Archives: June 2006

Question Types for Assessments

Computer-based Assessment in E-Learning” (PDF) from the Journal of Technology, Learning & Assessment is an article with some nice ideas for alternative question types backed up with supporting research. This article lists 28 question types categorized by degree of constraint and complexity. A couple of the questions types I thought were pretty good ideas.

For example, some alternative question type ideas include:

1. Multiple Choice w/ new media distractors: Instead of the traditional select an answer from a list we could creat a question where they need to click on an image to indicate the correct answer.

2. Selection/Identification: Yes/No format with additional step of reasoning.

i.e. During an event an operator must monitor the XYQ pressure reading.

A. Yes, because reason #1
B. Yes, because reason #2
C. No, because reason #3
D. No, because reason #4

This question type tends to “…more readily distinguished between students of higher and lower abilities, than conventional multiple choice.”

3. Reordering / Rearrangement (Matching): Could be in the format of match A,B,C with 1,2,3 or could be categorize a list of items into a small # of categories.

4. Ranking & Sequencing: Indicate the order in which a series should occur. i.e. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.

5. Substitution / Correction: Write a statement and ask them to identify which of the underlined words are incorrect.

6. Construction: Provide a chart with labels on it and ask them to interpret what different parts of the chart indicate via mult. choice. (p32).


Here’s a great tip for anyone who is doing stand-up training From Learning TRENDS by Elliott Masie:

Wait Nine Seconds for Learners:
This is a simple and very powerful tip for trainers. After asking for questions from the class, silently count to nine. Only nine seconds of silence will increase the number of questions dramatically. It takes at least 2 seconds for the learners to recognize that you actually asked a question. And, a few seconds to rehearse their question and check the room for other hands. Most trainers only wait about three seconds and then announce, “Great!” That’s not great. If you taught really new and good stuff, there WILL be questions. Wait nine seconds. It may seem long to you, but it is a real gift to the learners.