March 5th, 2015 E-Learning

Anyone who is creating an online course wants the learner to enjoy it. As a result, we often find ourselves searching for way so to implement interactions, gamification, quizzes, animations, sound effects, and other flashy items.

But does this actually make the elearning experience better?

The reality is that all of these elements distract the learner. Where content should always be king, the extracurricular items pull the learner away from these key points.

This isn’t to say that using the elements above are a detriment to elearning. Quite the opposite. These strategies, when used correctly, have a tendency to further solidify the key points.

The trick is finding the proper balance, and unfortunately there is not a magic formula. By rule of thumb, it’s better to do ‘less’ than ‘more’.

Consider quizzes for a moment. They generally aren’t all that exciting. They’ve also been in elearning for quite some time. However, I would contend that quizzing has gotten a bad wrap not because of what they do, but because how they are presented.

I don’t know about you, but it seems that every online quiz that I take consists of multiple choice and true or false questions. Even worse, questions just contain plain text – they are quite mundane.

One simple thing you can do with your quizzes is include various question types. Matching is a favorite of many. So is fill in the blank and sorting. This forces the learner to recall the content differently than they would in a standard multiple choice quiz.

While you’re at it, why not add a simple badge component to the quiz? Make it possible for the learner to earn points and badges based on their performance. You would be surprised at the impact this can have.

Here is a ‘ninja’ trick if you have a quiz that can be taken an unlimited number of times. Set-up your LMS so that you issue different badges for the various scores that are obtained, with the best looking badge being for 100%.

As funny as it sounds, you are going to be surprised by the number of people who retake the quiz just to get the best looking badge! By retaking the quiz, they have further solidified the learning content!

If you have strategies of your own to share, don’t hesitate to put it in the comments.

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About Justin Ferriman

Justin Ferriman started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Justin's Homepage | Twitter

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4 responses

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Here is a trick- a hack- I’ve used (presenting this along with others at LSCon in March).

One of the biggest challenges is the stale-ness of the questions- if you miss a question, you are often re-served the same question. Sometimes, questions are so common, folks in offices just tell peers the answers.

Here’s a way to expand one good question into multiple variants and keep it fresh, and it really does help keep the focus on applying skills vs “entering via memory”.

Hi there,

I am just wondering if the quizz module will also have an import / export tool? I should import – when buying this lms – up to 2T of questions.

Couldn’t find any information about this feature.
Cheers Gehard

Avatar Gerhard M.

Hi Gerhard-

Thanks for the comment. If you are referring to the LearnDash LMS, you can import and export quizzes created using LearnDash to other LearnDash installs. There is not currently an import feature for other file-types (but it’s something we are planning on adding).

Justin, have you added it yet?

Avatar Mike

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