Writing Better Questions for Online Assessment
- Phrase questions precisely and clearly
- Unless learners can understand the question, they cannot answer it.
- Ask questions simply and directly
- Simple questions are easier to understand, to answer, and to score.
- Direct questions seem more objective and fair to learners.
- Put background information before the question
- Do not supply new information in a question. For complex questions, supply background information in a lead-in to the question. Phrase the lead-in as simple declarative sentences.
- Include instructions on how to answer
- If learners might not know how to indicate their answers, put instructions immediately after the question proper.
- Ask yourself whether 95% of your learners will figure out how to answer the question without any instructions. If not, add instructions.
You can also seek guidance from the Writing Center to craft impactful assignment prompts.