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6 Multiple Choice Question Writing Mistakes


We found this article on Making Change: Ideas for lively elearning. It demonstrates some pretty clear (and humorous) fallacies when designing multiple choice questions. We think that any of these can apply to writing questions for your game show as well.


[Italics are from the article, the commentary is ours]


Can you answer these 6 questions about multiple-choice questions?


1. I opened a course on a topic I know nothing about, clicked through without reading anything, and took the assessment. I passed! What does that suggest?


  1. I am a genius!

  2. The assessment was too easy.

  3. Maybe the course was too easy, too.

  4. Maybe the course didn’t even need to be written.

  5. b, c, and d


2. In a multiple-choice question, when is the longest answer the correct answer?


  1. Rarely

  2. Sometimes

  3. It’s almost always the correct answer, and it’s often stuffed with new information that should have gone in the main part of the course but we forgot so now we’re putting it in the quiz because we can’t possibly leave out the tiniest detail

  4. Occasionally


3. When is “All of the above” the correct answer?


  1. With alarming regularity

  2. When we try to cover too much in one question

  3. When we use a question to teach instead of assessing

  4. All of the above


4. When is it NOT a good idea to avoid negative questions?


  1. Never

  2. Sometimes

  3. Always

  4. What?


5. How often is the correct answer A?

  1. Usually

  2. Frequently

  3. Often

  4. Almost never, because if a is the right answer, then the learner doesn’t have to read all the other options we spent so much time writing and revising, and where’s the ROI in that?


6. We can confuse learners when we:

  1. fail to actually complete the sentence we started in the question.

  2. inconsistent grammar in the options.

  3. sometimes we veer off into another idea entirely.

  4. wombats.


How did you do?


When writing your game show questions, it's incredibly important to write good questions. When questions are too easy or difficult, unclear or otherwise, it can stall out gameplay.


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