Long scenario test questions

Hi everyone, I am hoping you can help me with a design issue! I have a test for my course that has several multiple choice questions that present different scenarios, and offer 4 possible answers. The problem is that there is so much text. The obvious solutions are to either resize the text to a smaller size or make use of the automatic scroll bar that appears when your multiple choice answers are too lengthy.


However, I don't love either of these solutions. We want our material to be usable on mobile, so small text is a problem. I don't like the scrolling bar because it is possible that someone could not notice it, and choose only from the answers displayed.


I'm hoping to discover a better option. Has anyone else developed a creative solution to this problem?


Thanks for your help!

4 Replies
Christy Tucker

Can you create a short summary of each choice to list as the choice, but offer a way to expand to the full text (via lightbox or another layer)? I often have paragraph-long scenarios to set up a question, but I try to keep the choices themselves fairly short.

Another option is to use 3 choices rather than 4, and to get rid of one of the distractors. There is research support for only using 3 choices rather than the standard 4. See this for a quick summary: https://blog.cengage.com/three-answer-options-are-all-you-need-on-multiple-choice-tests/

Rena Maguire

Thanks for the great suggestions! I decided to try separating the scenario from the multiple choice answers. I put the scenario on a new slide that is lightboxed when the timeline on the question starts. Then the lightbox closes once ITS timeline ends (ie. when the voice over finishes reading the question). I then added a button to the slide with the multiple choice answers that allows users to re-open the scenario as a lightbox.


I'm also going to take your advice, Christy, and only display 3 answers. Thanks again!

Trevor LaForce

Hi Rena, 

We have some more complex interactions in some of our quizzes as well. Between that and the way we wanted to allow users to quickly refer to review content and retry individual questions (not full quizzes), we eventually decided to build the quizzes and results screen from scratch using triggers.

This is obviously a more labour-intensive approach and frankly we're a little nuts for doing it. It involves a lot of triggers and some JavaScript to ensure that scores are reported out to the LMS in a timely and reliable manner. But it does mean that everything from the look and feel of the states of the answers to the behaviour of the results slide is exactly what we want. 

I'm glad that you found a workaround that you're happy with and that it didn't require a lot of scratchbuilt custom stuff!