True Or False Questions In eLearning: What eLearning Professionals Should Know

True Or False Questions In eLearning

A true or false question consists of a statement that requires a true or false response. There are other variations of the True or False format as well, such as: “yes” or “no”, “correct” or “incorrect”, and “agree” or “disagree” which is often used in surveys. Effective true or false eLearning questions are factual based, rather than opinion-oriented, and are designed to quickly and efficiently test learner knowledge about a particular idea or concept.

Best Practices For Developing True Or False Questions

  1. Concentrate on one key idea or concept.
    Every true or false question should focus on one specific topic. The primary reason for this is that true or false questions are limited. They do not call for a short answer response, nor are there multiple answers to choose from. The learner is simply being asked to declare whether or not the statement or assertion is based in truth. For example, “all employees must wear their approved uniforms and carry the sales handbook with them at all times” should actually be broken up into two separate true or false questions. It covers two distinct topics and one might be true while the other is false.
  2. Statements must have a clear, verifiable answer.
    Each statement must be entirely true or false. There can be absolutely no room for doubt or debate. If the question sits in a gray area and isn’t supported by facts that are found in the eLearning content, then it probably isn’t the best fit for the True or False question format. To create True or False statements that are based in fact, it’s a good idea to go through your learning materials and highlight the key elements of the online lesson. Use these notes as a guide to develop true or false questions that center on the highlighted concepts, rather than trying to cover all aspects of the online lesson in a lengthy True or False exam.
  3. Link it to the learning objective.
    Every true or false question should relate to the core learning objectives. Figure out what you are trying to assess before you create each question so that you can align it with the desired outcome. For instance, if you want to determine if a learner grasps the key terminology, develop a series of true or false questions that consists of words and definitions. Ask your learners to determine whether the definitions are, in fact, accurate or inaccurate.
  4. Include a good mix of True or False answers.
    It’s best to have an equal proportion of true and false answers. If 1 out of every 10 questions is false, your learners are probably going to see the pattern and be able to guess their way through the True or False exam. Review your questions before uploading them to ensure that there is a balance between the two types of responses.

How To Use True Or False Questions In eLearning

  1. Avoid qualifying words that give the answer away.
    “Always”, “never”, and “every” are examples of “qualifiers”. These words can allow the learner to guess the right answer even if they don’t know the subject matter. “You should always examine returned merchandise” contains the “always” qualifier. A corporate learner might automatically choose false due to the fact that some merchandise may not require an inspection. Keep in mind that qualifying words take the True or False statement to the extremes, which immediately calls its validity into question.
  2. Do NOT use “NOT” when crafting True or False questions.
    Many test writers may add the word “not” to a true statement simply to trick the learner. This is known as a “negative” question. Negative questions typically try to conceal the correct answer by convoluting it. For instance, “owls are nocturnal creatures” is an example of an effective positive True or False statement, while “owls are not diurnal creatures” is negative. Proofread each question to verify that it is in the positive form and that is clear and direct. Creating vague questions will only confuse learners who know the subject matter, instead of tricking those who do not.
  3. The fewer words the better.
    Avoid using an abundance of words in your true or false question in order to make it more challenging. In fact, the ideal true or false statement should consist of a simple sentence that lacks commas or semi-colons. You should also minimize your usage of complex words or jargon, unless you know for a certainty that your learners are familiar with the term. To determine their level of vocabulary, conduct a focus group or pre-assessment to get a better understanding of their background and preferences.
  4. Keep statement length homogenous.
    Try to keep all of your true or false statements a similar length throughout the online assessment. Statements that are longer or shorter than others tend to give learners hints about the correct answer. For instance, a longer and more detailed question tends to be false, as it typically contains ideas or wording that contradicts the rest of the statement.

Despite the fact that learners have a 50/50 chance of guessing the right answer, a well-constructed true or false question can be a quick and efficient assessment tool. For best results, try pairing true or false questions with multiple choice and short answer to test a learner’s all-around knowledge of the subject matter.

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Also, interested in learning how to track learners’ progress while they are taking the eLearning course? Read the article Formative Assessment In eLearning: What eLearning Professionals Should Know to find out 6 different types of formative assessment and 4 tips on how to use formative assessment in eLearning.

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