Quiz guidelines: randomizing vs. progressively harder questions

Does anyone have some general guidelines around quizzing strategies? I'm interested in putting some general information together for our team on quizzing options and strategies.

When should we randomize questions? When is pooling more appropriate? Sequencing questions from easy to challenging?

Whatever  you can share is greatly appreciated!

1 Reply
Anne Pead

Hi Debee

You could do both - you could group the quiz questions into their different levels of difficulty (i.e. if you have easy, medium, then difficult sets of questions, set them up in three separate question banks) then you randomize within each question bank. So essentially you will get a randomized number of easy, randomized medium and then move on to randomized difficult.

I'd see two reasons for doing randomized questions (i.e. you have a bigger pool of questions than will actually get asked each time) - first, so that if users need to retake the quiz, they are not seeing the same questions, or in the same order, and secondly if you think that the people taking the course and quiz are going to 'share' answers.

Sequencing questions from easy to challenging can be good as it keeps building but I think there's an equal case for randomizing the questions - there is nothing quite like the relief of a question you definitely know the answer too coming right after one that you definitely didn't!

Those are my initial thoughts on the items you mentioned. I think when giving guidelines on quizzing what is more important is the type of questions that are being asked - are they clear and unambiguous. Nothing frustrates people more than getting a question that they actually know the answer to but they get it wrong because the question was badly worded or phrased.  Make sure that what you're testing has relevance to the course.

Ok, hope that is helpful!