Learner can retake quiz twice.... but then what?

Apr 21, 2017

Hi everyone,

This isn't an articulate question per say - more a what are others doing? 

We are creating quite a few courses that have quizzes associated to each course. The quizzes are standalone storyline courses. At the moment, we are thinking that if the user takes the quiz and fails twice - it is at this point that their manager comes in and has a coaching conversation with them. 

What we are recommending managers is that after their coaching conversation, that the learner takes the course again and then the quiz course. And hope that they pass - if not then maybe something wrong with the actual course/quiz.

I was just wondering what are others out there doing? 

Do you have it set-up that unless they have that coaching conversation or they pass the quiz after the coaching conversation that they can't progress to the next course?



16 Replies
kristen neill

In my experiences we would have two tries on a knowledge check. If they kissed a question the second time around we would give feedback and explanation of the right answer in the incorrect feedBack box. If they still failed the second time we had a coordinator responsible for tracking and ensuring the coaching occurred and reassigned the course in the lms (the employee was locked out and it needed reset at 2nd fail)

Jeff Kortenbosch

Hmmm, I'm not a fan of knowledge checks. I feel they usually just test short term memory and not behavioral change. For me courses need to have a performance outcome. Knowledge is something that should support tasks people are responsible for in their jobs and knowledge is something that should be easily accessible when they need it. Memorizing rarely works especially not after taking a single course.

So although you could add some knowledge checks for the employee to check their understanding I'd say managers need to know what kind of change this course should bring in the employees effectiveness to do their job. That's what they should monitor and coach.

Ben Sewell

You could have a branching scenario so that, on the second faIl, learner is taken to an "email manager" page, which they can then use to alert their manager they need coaching.

Once this happens, they take the quiz again.

This may help:


Ashley Chiasson

I agree with Jeff re: knowledge checks. You could mimic adaptive learning, using branching and variables...but it will be a lot of effort for the result, so depends on your budget.

Another suggestion is to add resource slides that direct learners to additional resources, and make them mandatory before they can proceed. Depending on how deep you want to go with that, you can use variables per question, and depending on the type of questions the learner gets incorrect, you could direct them to a resource slide that would be most appropriate (based on what they got incorrect), so you'd have to create a couple of different resource slides.

Luke Dart

I am with Jeff on this and not a major fan of knowledge checks, but on occasions I concede and agree they are necessary.  I would point out that if the user has failed the knowledge twice I would expect the fault to lie with the user not the course, especially if everyone else is passing it.

To answer your question directly, my company often uses each course as a prerequisite to the next, so you can't take course 2 until course 1 is complete. If they are unable to complete the courses then they are not aloud to continue working where they are and get moved onto a new area. If they continue to fail courses then a whole different conversation needs to happen. 

Brett Rockwood

This is an interesting discussion. I'm not a big fan of quizzes at the end of courses as I doubt they show or prove much but am often required by clients to have them. Sometimes I can convince them, sometimes not. I prefer to have an assessment up front that then determines what content is delivered to the learner. But as Ashley says, that can be fairly cumbersome to set up and test as it requires a significant use of variables and triggers and isn't strictly out-of-the-box quizzing functionality.

There are ways that you could have a manager notified if a user failed a quiz twice but they aren't fail-proof, no pun intended. 

Laura Pontier

Feedback, feedback, feedback.  By building in feedback for incorrect answers and letting users redo the course, that could help reduce the need for a coaching as well.  Therefore, the assessment and course should be in one course module.  If they are coached and see the material multiple times and still cannot pass the test, then I would agree that your test does not align with the content.  I sometimes like to create my assessments first and then work backwards to create the content to help avoid those issues. 

Sylvia Wright

If they have failed the second retry I would redirect back to that particular part of the course and have them go through it again.  I would also reexamine my quiz to be sure it is fair and fits with all of the learning styles and have a contact link for them to explain what the difficulty is.  It may be they are ESL learners and the language is difficult.

eLearning Development


As you are not asking about Storyline specifically one thing that i do in my Moodle settings is to lock people out of quizzes for a set amount of time before they can re-write.  I usually set it to 30 minutes after the first attempt and 60 minutes for any subsequent attempts.  This prevents "button bashing" where people take an exam over and over until they somehow hit the correct answers.  The feedback we give is that they need the time to review the material prior to attempting again.  I only do this in quizzes that require a pass mark for a certain reason.  We  generally do guided feedback in our Storyline courses and use more scenario type situations to guide learning there.


Raul Esparza

Here's a question: what do you as a developer think a quiz is for compared to the person that requested a quiz be put in place? If the whole point of an elearning is to prepare an employee for their job (whether performance or knowledge), why would a fail be an option?  If everyone "passed" the quiz except one person, then that person might need extra help, but if multiple people "fail" a quiz then there is something wrong with the quiz. 

I saw one recently that had nine options, 4 incorrect and 5 correct, with an unlimited amount of attempts - why? A quiz should not be "pop questions" or "difficult" to weed people out, it should reflect what the job you are preparing them for requires.  I don't call them quizzes, I call them reviews, if they can't answer my reviews then there is a problem with my content not with the "quiz takers."  I'm in corporate, I'm here to improve performance, or solve a problem, not to throw surprise quiz questions at people.  I wish more people would do the same.

My 2 cents...

Tracy Parish

We have it set up different ways for different courses.  Some are set up so that if they fail the lms does not let them register again for the course unless they speak with their educator.  If they fail again, then the educator knows a bigger conversation needs to happen.  Their are not many set this way, but the few that are tend to be the ones that require some practical application after the "review" course.

Wale A

I agree with Jeff and Luke in that a knowledge check is sometimes not the best gauge of the users ability to assimilate information. 

In my past experience we have had users have to resist the entire course to pass but then that could encourage users to use trial and error to pass. I feel that if they don't pass after 2 possibly 3 attempts then the user should be "re-coached".

Stephanie Scott

Like many of you, I am not a fan of knowledge checks either.  I see people rush through the module and take the test without absorbing information.  They are simply checking the box indicating that they have taken the course.  Unfortunately, the company that I'm with insists upon it.  The only flaw so far, so I can dig it.  I'll circle back to the subject in another year....

Melanie Sobie

Are you using an LMS? Perhaps you could use an email trigger associated with failing a course to accomplish this.  Set up a custom email for that course that is sent to the supervisor, copy employee, with notification of the course fail, and prompt the supervisor to meet with the employee. Then after the employee and supervisor meet, the supervisor can assign the course to them again.


Gemma Greenwood

Wow - everyone! Thank you so much for all your feedback and comments. Really gave us a lot to think about. 

What we are doing is allowing our users to take the knowledge check twice and then the managers have a coaching conversation after 2 attempts if they fail for each course.

Once the learner has completed an entire section (this may have multiple courses and knowledge checks) then the managers are asked to have a coaching conversation with each employee - regardless of pass or fail. ( I hope this is making sense). 

Our knowledge checks are primarily scenario based conversations where we are looking for or hoping to have a behaviour change that is associated with the use of a tool/system. 

I totally agree that knowledge checks are not the best way to know if a learner has fully grasped the topic and is able to apply the knowledge learnt back in their jobs. However, by mixing these with coaching conversations and regular check-ins with their managers it will hopefully provide a good mix as I know that when I'm going to get tested at the end of a course, I pay more attention and take more notes.

Thanks again everyone for all your help and advice! Much appreciated!


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