Design principle 7:

→ Alternate question styles and answer styles

Use different types of questions and answers, such as open-ended questions, multiple-choice questions, hotspot questions and sequence questions. Also use images, videos and audio clips. Lots of variation will make it more challenging. Check below to find out how it’s done!


To make your drills as engaging and challenging as possible, you need variety. Variety in terms of both the types of questions and the types of answers. It will make a drill more fun, more motivating, and it will reinforce the learning effect. Need we say more? Drillster offers open-ended questions, multiple-choice questions, and sequence questions. The hotspot option that uses interactive zones, such as on a map, is also a good option. Aside from that, you can use the fill-in-the-blank feature. You can also easily vary by using images, videos and audio clips. Plenty of options to choose from!

→ Besides different question styles, we also recommend that you make multiple question variants. A question style is not the same as a question variant. The former is about the format of a question (multiple-choice, open-ended, etc.), while question variants are differently phrased or structured questions that cover the same learning element. Design principle 8 will go into question variants in greater detail.


By alternating question and answer styles, you will keep your drills challenging. Information processing will be more varied this way, as different parts of the brain are called upon every time, and the material is retained more effectively!

There is something else to bear in mind when designing answers. It is a fact that recognition sets in when you use unequal answers, such as when the right answer is by far the shortest answer.

Make sure you use homogeneous answers. Try to always fit your answer options into the same format and make them roughly the same length. This way, people will not start recognizing the correct answers based on appearance, instead of based on their knowledge. We will explain this further using the example below.


Don’t make it too easy for people, but let them really think about their answers.

You can easily vary by using images, videos and audio clips →

10 drill design principles

With the 10 drill design principles, we help you on your way to designing the perfect drills. These tips will help you create the best questions based on educational design principles and ensure an effective learning process and well-anchored knowledge. Click on one of the other 9 design principles for more information and clear examples per design principle.

Workshop drill design

Rather have a personal explanation of how to make the perfect drill? We provide drill design workshops and refresher courses for (future) instructional drill designers. Fill in this form and we will contact you.

Need support?

Don’t have the time or resources to make good drills yourself? Find out how we can help!

  • Training: training your employees to become Certified Instructional Drill Designers.
  • Drill design: you can also opt to outsource parts of the drill design process to us.
  • Drill review: one of our educational specialists will help you by reviewing your drill content.
  • Bulk input: entering large volumes of content.
  • Communications: we would be happy to help you with internal communications on implementing the Drillster method.
  • Customization: integration into an LMS or learning portal: “Drillster inside” your trusted environment.

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