15 Replies
Jeanette Brooks

Hi Ange - great question!

What kinds of metaphors are you using in the visual design of your course? You could play off of a recurring visual element that ties to your content... maybe combine it with a symbol like a checkmark, like the soccer, prescription, and fire extinguisher example below. Or sometimes just using a clipboard can work well, since it implies checking and recording something. I also like icons that imply thought or mental processing, like the light-green icon below with 3 thought-circles. Maybe you could create something like that, with symbols to represent your course content.

And sometimes just using the word "quiz" can be totally fine too - you could always combine it with a thought-bubble and a visual metaphor like in the insect example below. (All of these examples are things in the MS clipart library, btw.)

Brendan Strong

Hi there

We have a more formal approach, but use a range of clip art icons. For quizzes, we use 4 types:

Question (Quetion mark)

Correct (Tick mark)

Incorrect (X)

Caution/Be aware (exclamation Mark)

As these are clip are, they are free,  but also already of a uniform style, which is really helpful.

Jamee Kuehler

Hi Everyone,

Great ideas!

Jeanette- LOVE the pop quiz toaster...I'll be using that one soon.

Do you have png copies of the other three pics you are showing? (pop quiz, learn the slang, energy puzzle) Even if you post them individually, (like the pop quiz toaster) I could use them...with your permission, of course.

Jeanette Brooks

Hi Jamee - sure!

I've attached a zip file. It contains a PowerPoint file with some source objects, plus the PNGs. For the toaster, you could easily customize that... it was made by ungrouping and modifying a MS clipart image and I added some text in the Rudiment font, which is freeware.

The Pop Quiz icon and puzzle icon were created right in PowerPoint; the zip file contains both the PNGs and the PowerPoint file. The questionmark on the starburst icon is a textbox using the font Bodoni MT Black. The text below the icons (Pop Quiz and Energy Puzzle) are Cooper Black, which I believe is a Microsoft system font.

It really is pretty cool how much you can do with simple textboxes & shapes in PowerPoint.

Dave Neuweiler

Don't overlook the possibilities of using an audio cue as well. This is done so often in movies and TV that we hardly notice... but when we hear a particular sound effect, or a few notes of music, we've been given a cue as to what's going to happen next.

Here's an article that gives ten examples:


I've been experimenting with this idea not only for quizzes and practices, but when there's a topic break in a module, or when there's a downloadable attachment that I want to draw attention to.

I'm uploading a set of four audio transitions that I'm planning to use to end sections or topics.


Amy Wilson

Hi Ange

Have you ever had a look at http://www.iconfinder.com? They have an option of "Allowed for commercial use - No link required" on some of their graphics. I've found some useful icons that I've used with online courses. They will often have the icon in different sizes so if you use several icons you can ensure they are a uniform size.