→ Use question variants to optimize the learning effect
When you ask about one and the same learning element in different ways, you will make sure the information is processed actively and, therefore, remembered better. Check below to find out how it’s done!
Want to get the most out of your drills? Use various question variants. This means making multiple questions for one learning element (one piece of information you want people to remember). You could, for example, use different examples/cases. And then you mark these different variants of a question as ‘equivalent’. The app will subsequently present different question variants for the same learning element every time. The learning material is the same, but the question about it is phrased differently. This will really put the brain to work! Also, vary question and answer styles by following a multiple-choice question up with an open-ended question, or perhaps even a hotspot question (see design principle 7). Try to design at least one, but preferably two additional variants of a question for each learning element, so that you have 3 questions in total for each element. Take a look at the example below.
Using multiple variants will trigger the student/employee to really think about the question and the associated right answer. It will also prevent people from starting to remember questions and answers, because they recognize them by certain traits, instead of based on knowledge (see design principle 7). When you force learners to actively retrieve knowledge, the knowledge will stick. After all, learning is all about developing and anchoring knowledge. On top of that, variety will make the drill more interesting and more challenging to do. A clear win-win situation!
→ The problem of recognition also occurs when you use unequal answers. 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, you can prevent people from recognizing the correct answers based on appearance, instead of based on their knowledge (see design principle 7).
It can be difficult to come up with multiple question variants in the beginning. However, you will get better and better at this. Stay creative!
Mark question variants as equivalent →
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.
Cut your learning material up into small chunks. Microlearning is effective and motivates learners →
Focus on information that people really need to remember. Use drills to anchor crucial knowledge →
Add a story to your drill. This will allow you to contextualize the sets of questions and give people relevant information →
Limit each question to one piece of information that people need to remember. Especially for adaptive learning, short and relevant questions are the most effective →
Drills are assessment-based: learning by answering questions and remembering feedback. Incorporate the message people need to remember in the answers →
Use the feedback option to explain answers. This will help people grasp and remember the material quickly →
Use different types of questions and answers, such as open-ended, multiple-choice, hotspot and sequence questions. Also use images, videos and audio clips →
Set learning goals for drills and courses to make sure people brush up on time. Also add the latest information to keep your drills up to date. Check below to find out how it’s done →
Optimize learners' commitment by keeping them motivated. Communicate why drills are so important →
Don’t have the time or resources to make good drills yourself? Find out how we can help!