Web based quiz tools and applications can be used to asses the students' knowledge before or after teaching a given topic. This allows the teacher to target specific areas within the topic which are difficult for the students to understand. Students can also benefit from tests prior to or during the semester. They can asses their own knowledge and adjust their study activites accordingly.


Quizzes and surveys can be used before, during or after a course has been taught. Before the first class, you can asses the students' prior knowledge of the topic in a pre-test. This gives you the opportunity to know beforehand which topics will need extra attention.

A quiz or test during the semester can give you and the students an idea of whether or not you are on target, which topics need to be addressed or revisited, or how to restructure your teaching in the following semesters.

In addition to testing the students' knowledge, a quiz can be a powerful learning tool if it gives constructive feedback on each answer. The quiz also provides the student with a means to monitor their own learning process. The more advanced question types e.g. open-ended answers in writing a formula, can challenge the students and eliminate responses based on guessing or exclusion.

There are a few things you should have in mind when implementing multiple choice quizzes in your course:

A. Is MCQ the proper assessment in your course?

Multiple choice quizzes are only a meaningful teaching strategy if you wish to test for factual knowledge or context based applied knowledge. If you want to assess learning objectives regarding e.g. a practical skillset or competencies then you should consider another assessment strategy. 

B. How to create the questions?

International experts (NBME) recommend two question types “One Best Answer” (OBA) and “Extended Matching Items” (EMI) to ensure validity in your test. Thereby discarding previous types such as “True-False” or “Comparison” items (Case & Swanson (2002), Constructing Written Test Questions for the Basic and Clinical Sciences - see link below).

The anatomy of a One Best Answer is:

  1. A vignette/case – in which a scenario is described. The vignette should contain all information needed for answering the question.
  2. Lead In – the question. Let it be a simple straight forward question without negations and further information. You should be able to answer the question without having answer alternatives.
  3. Answer alternatives – give 3-5 alternatives. Make sure they appear similar in style, grammar, number format, etc.

An example:
Paul has 200 bachelor students in his class that hand in 3 assignments during a semester. Every year the students request more individual feedback on their work, but because of the high number of students and assignments it is not possible for Paul to give individual feedback.

What type of learning technology would be most suited for Paul in this situation?

A. Video blogs
B. Peer review system
C. Multiple choice quizzes

Find more information

Constructing Written Test Questions for the Basic and Clinical Sciences

Read about creating MCQ items

How to Write MCQ Items