Improve Your Quizzes Illustration

If you’re like most e-learning professionals, much of what you do revolves around designing and building quizzes. But what goes into creating an effective quiz? This has recently been the topic of several discussions in the E-Learning Heroes community (Quizzing Do's and Don'ts & To Quiz Or Not To Quiz?), so I thought I’d pull together some of the helpful tips to create a quick-reference do’s-and-don’ts list.


  1. Let your learners know up-front how many questions there are in the quiz (Nicole Legault).
  2. Include questions that are in line with learning objectives (Cary Glenn).
  3. Limit distractors (incorrect choices) to one or two per question (Andrew Winner).
  4. Design performance-based quizzes that test application of skills and not simply factual recall (Kristin Anthony & David Glow).
  5. Create custom quizzes to engage your learners (Bob Kaart).
  6. Write quizzes that teach while they test by providing relevant feedback for incorrect answers (Andrew Winner).


  1. Ask questions about content that was not covered in the course (Cary Glenn).
  2. Overuse True/False and Multiple-Choice questions (Nicole Legault).
  3. Ask negative questions, e.g., "Which one of these should you not do?" (Cary Glenn).
  4. Include confusing or implausible distractors (Nicola Appel & Cary Glenn).
  5. Incorporate trick questions (Nicola Appel).
  6. Shuffle numbered answers; they should be written in numerical order (Cary Glenn).

There you have it! I hope these do’s and don’ts will be helpful to you the next time you’re creating a quiz.

Did we miss any major do’s and don’ts? Feel free to share in the comments section below. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and come back to E-learning Heroes often for more great e-learning tips and tricks!


1 Comment
Bruce Graham

Reasonable list, and I guess as a supplier of Quiz technology it makes sense, however, it almost pre-supposes that quizzes ARE the right way to go. More and more of the clients I speak to are moving away from quizzes towards a more work-based and formalised way of assessing learning, not just testing short-term memory. I agree not covering content not covered in the course, however, if your questioning is about how they would USE their knowledge, then they questions are going to be about how they would USE the knowledge in the workplace, so will need them to do some applied thinking, which will not be immediately obvious and linked to what they have "seen" in the course. I think the biggest "Do" is to have a very detailed and business-focused analysis about whether a quiz is, in fac... Expand