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The Quiz Maker: Designing MCQs Based Quiz for Online Assessment

The benefits of an online MCQs based quiz are well-documented, with a number of articles exploring the subject. For examiners who want to assess the knowledge of their students, both on fundamental level and advanced level of cognitive thinking, an online MCQ-based quiz is an interesting and convenient option to help them achieve their objective. That being said, the first timers are often found pondering over the question:

How to create an online MCQs based quiz?

Welcome to “The Quiz Maker” blogging series, where every week we will be introducing concepts and strategies to design different types of online quizzes and address issues that are commonly associated with each. For this blog, our focus will be on how to create a typical online MCQs based quiz.  

The Basics

Before you get on with process of designing an MCQs quiz on a quiz software, you need to know the basic anatomy of a multiple choice question. It is these elements which make a question complete and if any of these elements are missing you won’t be able to structure a complete, self explanatory MCQ:

·         Stem: Stem is the problem statement. It basically explains the situation or the scenario and help students to establish an idea about what the question actually relates to.   

·         Lead-in: Lead-in is the second part of an MCQ. It stresses on the action required from the examinee in response to the asked MCQ and thus, helps the transition to the last part of an MCQ.

·         Options: They are a list of solutions to the problem being asked in a multiple choice question. They consist of a key alternative, the correct answer, which is surrounded with distracters. Depending on the type of MCQ, there could be more than one key alternative present in the options. A good online quiz software allows you the convenience to structure the type of MCQ that your prefer.   

Designing Strategy and Tips

After explaining the components of an MCQ that make up its structure, we will now look at designing strategy and tips for each of the individual elements.

Designing the Stem

The golden rule to follow when designing a stem is to make sure that it is properly worded. This means:

·         There are no unambiguous statements that can hinder the inference of an examinee. The meaning and the objective of the MCQ should be clear.

·         Include all the relevant information in the stem. You don’t want to stuff left out information in the options as it could make them difficult to read and understand.

·         Avoid excessive or redundant wordings in the stem.

Designing the Lead-in

The lead-in should serve as a linking platform between the stem and the options. As such, its flow should be natural.

Also, carefully pick the action words that resonate with the level of cognitive behavior that you want to induce in the candidate. Words like: select, analyze, evaluate, compute and infer – all have different meanings and stimulate the cognition of an examinee in different ways.   

Designing the Options

This is where you need to be at your ingenious-creative as an examiner. And, an online quiz maker can help you assist with it by providing plethora of features that you can use in innovative ways.

·         The lower the number of options provided in the list, the easier to camouflage the key among the plausible distracters.  

·         Strategically place the options so that they represent a meaning. It could be in a chronological order, numerical order or conceptual order.

·         Include distracters that are appealing and sound sensible in the context of the questions asked.  

Just like any other first time task, designing an online MCQs based quiz can be successfully executed if you know the fundamental concepts and have an idea of how to put them together. So, are you ready to design your first online MCQs quiz?  




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