The following information will show you how quizzes and tests function on FutureLearn for learners and partners, how to create your quiz or test, and top tips for effective assessment.
How it works
Quizzes and tests function similarly, but with some important differences. Quizzes are formative, and tests are summative. These differences feature in the following ways:
|Type of assessment||Max question attempts||Scoring||Accessible||Question types|
|Quiz||Unlimited||None||Open to all||Multiple choice or Cloze (embedded answer)|
3 points per question
1 point lost for each incorrect answer
|Learners who have upgraded only||Multiple choice or Cloze (embedded answer)|
Tests are available to upgraded learners only. If learners have not upgraded, they will see the below messaging:
Learners receive constructive feedback in both quizzes and tests. For incorrect responses, this helps guide learners toward arriving at the correct answer themselves, and for correct responses, provides some context to further cement learning.
Questions can be single answer, multiple answer, or cloze (embedded answer). Below, you can see how these work from a learner perspective.
Quiz - single answer question
Quiz - Multiple answer question
Test - single answer question
Cloze question (tests and quizzes)
How to set up a quiz or test
- Decide whether a quiz or a test would be more suitable. Do you intend the learning experience to be formative, or summative? You will also need to consider that only upgraded learners can access tests.
- For clarity of UX, quizzes or tests should ideally be no longer than 10 questions. If your quiz/test contains more than 10 questions, please specify the number in the quiz/test introduction. If you need your quiz/test to be more than 15 questions long, please contact email@example.com where we can help advise.
- Add the quiz or test step, and fill in the details. This includes the ‘feedback author’, which is the Educator the feedback will display from, as well as an optional introduction, where you can provide information around what the quiz or test will cover, or how the questions will work.
You do not need to give details of the quiz or test functionality here, as these are in-built in the platform.
- Start building your quiz or test. You can add single answer questions, multiple answer questions, or cloze questions.
- Add feedback. This is vital to ensure the quiz or test is not just an assessment, but also a learning tool helping learners meaningfully address misunderstandings and cement their learning. For tests, feedback is particularly important in supporting learners towards the correct answer, as learners have 3 attempts at each question. If helpful, also add a ‘hint step’ that learners may wish to return to.
- If you are adding a cloze question, note that you can add multiple correct answers for each blank space. This can be helpful when there is a common misspelling you want to accept as correct, if there is varying capitalisation, or if there is more than one correct answer. Make sure to add a ‘hint’ for each possible answer, as this will display as feedback to help learners when their answer is incorrect, and reduce learners’ confusion.
- We recommend trialling your quiz or test with a few team members and/or students before the first run of a course. This will help to make sure a learner experiences a test in the way that your educators intend, and will also help pick up errors in the content. Note that if a live test contains an error, the question can be ‘voided’ to ensure that learner scores are not affected. However, keep in mind that voided questions will still be visible to all learners on the run.
How does feedback work?
Every question has the option to include ‘general feedback’, and each possible answer can also include ‘individual feedback’. We recommend that you include both general and individual feedback for all questions and answers.
General feedback can be useful in setting the context of a problem, which can then be contrasted by individual feedback. Individual feedback can address why an answer is incorrect, or provide explanation for why an answer is correct.
Individual feedback can come from anyone with the educator role.
Please note that you do not need to write whether the answer that the learner chose is correct or incorrect in the feedback; the platform does this for you.
1. On the first incorrect or partially correct answer only general feedback is shown to prevent giving the answer away.
2. On subsequent incorrect or partially correct attempts, the general feedback will be shown along with individual feedback for each selection.
Only general feedback is shown until the learner has used up all their three attempts or selected the correct answer at which point individual feedback will display.
For cloze test questions, both the feedback and hint will display on the learner’s first attempt.
Cloze questions - points of note
- Cloze questions cannot be edited once they have been created, even if the course has not started yet. To make changes to a cloze question, it must be deleted and then re-created.
- Answers are case sensitive by default but partners have the option of ignoring case sensitivity in answers and/or to ignore commas when creating a new question:
- The answering space is intentionally the same size for all blanks in the quiz.
- The platform strips out all whitespace (spaces) at the start and end of blank answer, so it doesn’t matter if a learner accidentally adds another space before or after their answer.
The PDF below has examples of best practice and innovation in quizzes and tests:
Avoiding flawed questions
Poorly written questions and answers can damage the learner experience. For example, a true/false question in a Test, where learners have three attempts, means the learner will always get a minimum of 2 marks out of 3 even when guessing. Poorly constructed questions can also invalidate the assessment, and potentially the outcomes of the course.
Below is a framework of flaws in quizzes and tests (Costello et al, 2018) that has been reproduced here in full. These were identified in a recent study, specifically focusing on quizzes and tests in MOOCs. To ensure assessment is as rigorous as possible, we recommend avoiding using these historical assessment approaches which, after research and investigation, are no longer considered appropriate for effective learning and teaching.