e-Learning Quiz

e-Learning Quiz: Relic from the old days or useful e-didactic tool?

The e-learning quiz is part of the standard repertoire of e-learning. But is a classic question-and-answer scenario still at all purposeful? We think: Yes, but.

The quiz boom took off in the second half of the last century. In all media – radio, television and later also on the smartphone – quizzes were and are being played for all they’re worth. Since the rise of digital learning in the 1990s, e-learning has also relied on e-quizzes, which usually take the form of single-choice, multiple-choice, or drag-and-drop tasks. Mostly, these tasks are found at the end of the e-learning and are somewhat reminiscent of the theory part of the driver’s license test: You learn things by heart and try the questions so many times until you finally pass. You can probably guess that we, as e-learning providers, consider this way of using e-learning quizzes to be not very effective. But that doesn’t mean we completely demonize its use. On the contrary, if implemented correctly, an e-learning quiz can make a lot of sense and contribute to learning success. What does this correct use look like? To do this, we need to backtrack a little.

e-learning quiz in authoring tools

Something basic to start with: an authoring tool is a program that can be used to prepare the content of e-learning courses. Just about all authoring tools allow you to include an e-learning quiz. In the design of many e-learning offerings, however, this function is used too rarely or in the wrong place. As with the theoretical driving test, the knowledge test in conventional e-learning is at the end. Learners then rush through the entire e-learning, which in the worst case consists of nothing but slides with weak content and design, and come across a quiz at the end. This they repeat until they pass. The added value for learners and companies alike is limited. In this context, authoring tools also offer the (better) possibility to include knowledge checks during the actual learning. If you divide the learning content into several chapters, you can include a separate quiz block per chapter. An approach reminiscent of a well-prepared classroom training: professional trainers always link questions or exercises to individual knowledge sections and thus continuously check the learning progress of the participants. In e-learning, this slice-by-slice knowledge review is unfortunately not standard. It is precisely this way of using an e-learning quiz that would bring added value for both learners and companies. Let us support our argument with an example.

e-Learning Quiz - a thought experiment

Let’s say you are creating a sales training course. First and foremost, you want to introduce employees to the product you are selling. In addition, you go into the products of the competition. In the last section, learners practice typical sales conversations using fictitious customer inquiries. A traditional e-learning offering would have the following chapters:

  • Details and explanations of the product
  • Competitor information
  • Sales calls/customer inquiries
  • e-Learning Quiz

In a traditional e-learning, all chapters would be theory-heavy and usually come as a set of slides. In this case, the quiz, whose questions follow the theoretical inputs, fulfills a token function: it is meant to suggest interactivity. As you might imagine, this has little to do with well-done e-learning. Professional e-learning features a variety of interactive elements and makes participants’ strengths and weaknesses visible while they are still learning. Let’s illustrate this again with our example.

Instead of a quiz at the end, questions or exercises can be inserted between the individual chapters. This has several advantages: On the one hand, the knowledge test loses its typical examination character. On the other hand, strengths and knowledge deficits are specifically revealed. An employee who worked in product development and has now moved to sales will probably be able to answer all questions about the product, but may have deficits in the sales part, for example. This shows employees which content needs to be trained more intensively. Learners know where they stand and can practice individual topics in a targeted manner. If all quiz blocks of the individual chapters have been completed positively, the final e-learning quiz can be unlocked in the learning management system (LMS). Unlike the traditional approach, which does not link knowledge review to content areas, the e-learning quiz here serves to reinforce knowledge that has already been practiced through quiz blocks in each chapter.

e-Learning Quiz: Our conclusion

Learners need feedback to successfully consolidate knowledge and become better. As described in our example, an e-learning quiz built in using an authoring tool is an effective way to provide customized reporting for learners. Via the final quiz in the LMS, the company also receives important data that is central to the further development of training and education and quality control in e-learning.

We recommend our clients to thoroughly study the possible applications of an e-learning quiz before starting the e-learning conception. As an experienced e-learning provider, we are always available to answer questions and provide support in the implementation of e-learning quizzes and other tools from the versatile toolbox of e-didactics.