How to Create Effective Test Questions

Since online learning often separates teachers from learners across time and distance, we rely on evaluations – in the form of tests, quizzes and assessments – to judge each student’s successful comprehension of the content (and to judge how well the course designers presented their information).

But what makes a good test question? Is it meant to challenge a student? Should it stump as many students as possible? If every student answers a question correctly, does that mean your question is too easy, or is it a perfect example of an effective test question?

To find out, let’s begin by reminding ourselves why we test our students in the first place.

The Purpose of a Good Test Question

As a general rule, a good question tests the 6-levels of intellectual understanding, as espoused in Bloom’s Taxonomy:

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