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The Do’s and Don’ts of Effective E-Learning Questions

Have you ever taken a test and came across a frustrating question that seemed impossible to answer?

While this could be a sign you need to revisit course materials, it could also be the result of a poorly written assessment question. Confusing and misleading questions can frustrate learners AND skew learning analytics. However, writing effective questions for an E-Learning course is much harder than it looks. A question needs to be sophisticated enough to truly measure what audiences have learned, while not making it so difficult that it stumps them. Remember, the goal of any assessment question is to see whether or not the participant met the learning objectives based on the content they were presented.

The next time you are tasked with designing an E-Learning course and assessing learners, keep these do’s and don’ts in mind.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Effective E-Learning Questions


  • Align your questions with learning objectives
  • Write clearly and concisely
  • Choose the right question type: multiple choice, sequencing, short answer, etc.
  • Use a variety of quiz question types
  • Keep the answer choices similar in length and with the same grammatical structure
  • Give one correct answer
  • Keep your assessment goal in mind


  • Provide too many answers or choices
  • Rely on true/false questions
  • Introduce new vocabulary or information
  • Use slang or cultural references
  • Use negatives in your questions or answers
  • Use “all of the above” or “none of the above”
  • Try to trick your learners

Now, think back to the last E-Learning course you designed. Did your quiz or test questions follow the do’s and don’ts above? Use the tips that work for you the next time you’re developing a course and write questions that challenge your audience while giving you the learning analytics you need.