Online Test: Question Types Versatility

January 30, 2023

Quizzes can be taken more than once: Using online assessments allows you to easily create assessments for each topic while also allowing learners to take the assessments at their own pace.

Online assessments also allow exam takers to interact and collaborate with their peers through online discussions, reflection exercises, self and peer review, and group projects.

Some benefits of using online assessments include:

Benefits of online assessment

Some of the benefits of online assessments are listed below.

  • Rapid identification of areas of learner misunderstanding and misconceptions
  • Flexibility that allows learners to take a test from anywhere and at any time
  • Offering new opportunities for interactivity
  • Providing detailed and immediate feedback
  • Increasing grading accuracy
  • Assessment storage, and reuse
  • Changing the order and randomization of assessment questions and options

Types of questions in an online assessment

A wide range of question types are supported by online assessments. The question types that are available are listed below.

1. MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions):

Multiple-choice questions ask exam takers to choose from a list of possible options or answers to a question. Most MCQs have one correct answer and two to four incorrect “distractor” choices. Incomplete sentences, statements, or complex scenarios can all be used to form questions. MCQs are best suited for information that is factual, conceptual, or procedural. Some simple guidelines for crafting more effective questions:

  • Distractors should be false but plausible/probable. A distractor should not be eliminated simply because it is clearly incorrect.
  • Avoid using the words “always” and “never” in distractors. Use words like “usually,” “likely,” and “rarely” to prevent exam takers from easily eliminating distractions.
  • Use options like “all of the above” and “none of the above” with caution.
MCQs are the most adaptable type of closed-ended question. This adaptability stems from the fact that the questions can include more elaborate scenarios that necessitate careful thought on the part of the exam taker. The likelihood of exam takers guessing is also low.Multiple-choice items can be more difficult to write than true/false and matching items. They also necessitate the development of plausible “distractors” or incorrect answer choices. Multiple-choice questions, like other closed-ended questions, favor recognition over recall.
2. Multiple Response Questions (MRQs):

MRQs are similar to MCQs in that they have multiple correct answers. MRQs ask exam takers to select multiple options from a list of possible options/answers and usually have more than one correct answer.

3. Fill-in-the-blanks:

Fill-in-the-blank questions are “constructed-response” questions that require exam takers to come up with an answer and are typically one word in length. Fill-in-the-blank questions are similar to completion questions. Fill-in-the-blank questions are best suited to questions that require exam-taker recall rather than recognition. Examples include assessing the correct spelling of items or ensuring that the exam takers have committed the information to memory.

Fill-in-the-blank questions assess information recall rather than recognition. They are relatively simple to compose.FIB questions are only appropriate for questions that can be answered in a few sentences. Furthermore, because exam takers are free to answer in any way they want, FIB questions can cause scoring issues if they are not worded carefully.
4. True/False questions (T/F):
True/false questions are among the simplest to construct.True/false questions have a limited ability to assess exam-taker mastery. They have a relatively high probability of exam takers correctly guessing the answer (50%). True/false also assesses information recognition rather than recall

True/false questions present a statement and ask the exam taker to choose whether it is true or false. exam takers typically have a lot of practice with this type of question. T/F questions are best suited for factual and naturally dichotomous information (information with only two plausible possibilities). Dichotomous information is of the “either/or” variety.

5. Matching Questions:

Matching questions involve participants correctly identifying, or “matching,” paired lists based on the relationship between the items. These are best suited for assessing exam taker comprehension of related information. States and capitals, terms and definitions, tools and applications, and events and dates are all examples of related items.

In comparison to multiple-choice questions, matching items can assess a large amount of information. The likelihood of guessing is low if carefully developed.Matching evaluates information recognition rather than recall.
6. Descriptive:

Essays and short-answer questions are both types of constructed-response questions. Descriptive responses, on the other hand, are typically much longer than short-answer responses, ranging from a few paragraphs to several pages. Most appropriate for assessments that cannot be completed with other types of questions. Because essays are the only question types that can effectively assess the highest levels of exam-taker mastery, they are the only option if assessing synthesis and evaluation levels is the goal of testing.

Essay questions are the only type of question that can assess all six levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. They enable exam-takers to express their thoughts and opinions in writing, providing a more accurate picture of exam-taker comprehension. Finally, because they are open-ended questions, they favor recall over recognition.Essay questions have two major drawbacks: time constraints and grading consistency. Essays take a long time to complete for exams takers. Because of the variety of answers and the “halo effect,” scoring can be difficult (exam takers are rewarded for strong writing skills as opposed to demonstrated mastery of the content).

The table below summarizes the available question types and their associated grading methods.

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)Automatic
Multiple Response Questions (MRQs)Automatic
Fill-in-the-blank(s) (FIBs)Automatic
True/False QuestionsAutomatic
Matching QuestionsAutomatic
Descriptive QuestionsManual (Online)