How do you incorporate quizzes into your eLearning? Do you believe in the “quiz early, quiz often” strategy, or do you wait until the end of the course? Or do you live on the edge and say “who needs those darn quizzes anyway?”
Some people argue that delivering multiple choice quizzes in eLearning makes adult learners feel like schoolchildren. However, at eLearning Brothers, we know that quizzes can take many forms! Instead of a multiple choice quiz, you could include a fun game like the Jump game from The Training Arcade, or our popular Millionaire game template.
But why must we use any kind of quiz?
When learners are tested, they are required to retrieve knowledge from memory. Much online learning content is designed to help learners acquire and store knowledge—steps to complete this or that process, information about products, etc. Incorporating different kinds of tests or quizzes, however, allows learners to practice the valuable skill of retrieving and using knowledge. Studies have shown that using quizzes results in improved learner retention. It’s called the testing effect or the retrieval practice effect.
Another great use of quizzes is at the beginning of a course to show learners what they do or don’t know and motivate them to pay more attention throughout the rest of the course. A non-graded quiz at the beginning of a course will show learners where they need to pay special attention. Non-graded is key—you don’t want your learners to go in feeling like they’re already failed the course!
When the topic of including quizzes or not was discussed on the E-Learning Heroes forum, a comment that stuck with me was “If you are going to include a test, make it a good one.” It’s easy to slap together a quick multiple choice or true and false quiz. It’s much more work to create a true assessment of learning. But it’s not impossible! Check out this post by one of our instructional designers on “Immersing Learners in Engaging eLearning Assessments.” Brandie gives some great tips for creating learning assessments.
What are your thoughts on the necessity of quizzes in eLearning? Share them with us in the comments below, and check out the rest of our instructional design articles for more great tips!