12 May Assessment for eLearning: Question banks
Many of The Learning Rooms’ bespoke eLearning projects feature question banks as an integral element of the course assessment strategy. While the functionality of the question bank is similar across these projects, its structure and implementation varies depending on the needs of the course in question.
What is a question bank?
A question bank is a set of questions that can be dynamically drawn and inserted into the course as required. Each draw from the question bank can include all or some of the questions and other settings allow further definition of how the draw is presented to the learner. Bank questions can be used and reused throughout the course without the need to duplicate the actual questions. They remain hidden from the learner unless they are drawn.
Here is an example of a typical draw set up in Articulate Storyline 360:
Draw 10 questions out of 20, in random order, two of the questions in the bank must be displayed to every learner, question X must appear as every learner’s first question.
Aligning questions to learning outcomes
Writing questions that are well structured and assess the learning outcomes can be challenging. If you are using a question bank you may way need to write many more than an individual learner will ever see. It may not be possible in all circumstances to write a surplus of questions that are significantly different to each other but still assess the learning outcomes of the course. This may also add time to the course development process. Additionally, if you are using a question bank it is important that each learner receives questions aligned to each learning outcome. For example if you have four learning outcomes, learners could for example be asked five questions to test their achievement against each learning outcome.
Improve exam integrity
Deploying a shuffled draw from a question bank can improve exam security and integrity by offering each learner a unique instance of an assessment. This discourages cheating and offers learners the opportunity to repeatedly take a variation of the assessment for revision purposes.
Multiple draws may be used to present different versions of an assessment depending on a learner’s accessibility requirements or knowledge level.
Questions can be added to a question bank without altering the course content itself. A question bank can also be used to assess the efficacy of certain questions at assessing the learning outcomes of the course fairly.
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