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Tips for Teachers on Creating an Online Quiz

written by: acundell•edited by: Donna Cosmato•updated: 7/28/2010

With so many resources now freely available, it's easier than ever for teachers to publish quizzes online. Best of all - these quizzes mark themselves. This article gives you the basics in getting started creating online quizzes.

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    Finding an Online Quiz Tool

    There are so many online quiz tools out on the Web, that’s it worth doing a little research make sure you get what you need. A Google search using “online quizmaker” or “create online quiz” will yield a number of results. However, a couple of tools worth checking out as a starting point are Class Marker and ProProfs, both of which are geared toward teachers. Most of the online quizmakers offer similar features to one another, but might vary slightly in design or parameters. It is also worth noting that many of the tools have free and fee-based options, the fee-based options offering more flexibility and customization.

    Before you get started writing your online quizzes, be sure to research the tools and choose the best one that matches your needs. Many of the tools offer a ‘demo’ or ‘tour’ of their product to get a better idea of how it works. Otherwise, you can sign up and create a test quiz to see if it’s what you want.

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    Selecting an Online Quiz Tool

    Although many of the tools available offer similar features, they may differ slightly in option. The following features that are a must in whichever tool you select.

    • A variety of question types. The standard types are multiple choice, fill in the gap and ‘essay’ type questions. If you want additional types (i.e. matching), you may have to search a little harder.
    • Question feedback. At the end of the quiz, test-takers should be able to review their results. The feedback feature provides an explanation of each answer. This is a good learning opportunity for those who answered incorrectly.
    • Easy-to-use interface. Most of the quizmakers are relatively intuitive, making learning to use them relatively quick; however, some are cumbersome and require too many steps to create one question.

    In addition to the above considerations, there are number of other features that you may want depending on your needs or preferences. These additional features may include:

    • Question banks. Some quizmakers have a question bank, which automatically keeps all of your questions in one spot, so that next time you create a quiz, you can draw on questions that have been prviously created. This feature is great for teachers who teach the same subjects over again.
    • The ability to keep records of student results. Many of the free online quiz tools don’t offer the ability to record scores of test-takers. If the quiz is just meant as a practice activity, you may not need this feature, but for more formal assessment, this is an important feature. This feature may work differently depending on the tool; for example, some will require test-takers to sign up for an account and login to take the test while others will simply email the results to the teacher.
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    5 Tips for Writing Quizzes

    When it comes time to actually writing the quiz, there are some general guidelines to keep in mind.

    1. Include only one correct answer. In multiple choice questions, it can be confusing and misleading to include more than one correct answer; this includes partially correct answers.
    2. Use parallel construction whenever possible. In a multiple choice question, all the answers should be of the same grammatical structure. For example, if the correct answer is a noun or noun phrase, all options should be nouns.
    3. Make all answers approximately the same length. In multiple choice questions, if the correct answer is a complete sentence, all the options should also be complete sentences of approximately the same number of words.
    4. Avoid using negatives. Idenitifying an answer that is incorrect is easier than identifying one that is correct. Negatives in true or false type questions are equally confusing. Avoiding negatives will ensure your testing students know the correct answer.
    5. Avoid using “all of the above” and “none of the above.” In the latter, students will only need to recognize two possible answers to gleen they are all correct while answering “none of the above” won't indicate that test-takers knows the correct answer.