Big News!

We now have a self-paced version of the Write Better Multiple-Choice Questions course! More information below.

Do your multiple choice questions cause problems?

Assessment research shows many multiple-choice questions are poorly written. Nedeau-Cayo's study of thousands of nursing exam questions, for example, found 84% (!) of the questions had a significant flaw—and many had more than one significant flaw!

Poorly written questions typically don't assess the intended knowledge and skills, leading to less valid assessments and much frustration. If you use multiple-choice assessment results to make decisions—such as who can proceed—poorly written questions can open your organization to legal risk.

Writing good multiple-choice questions is a critical skill but is rarely taught to learning practitioners and others who design or facilitate adult instruction. The bottom line is that everyone who uses multiple-choice assessments must be able to write good multiple-choice questions!

Reference: Nedeau-Cayo, R., Laughlin, D., Rus, L., & Hall, J. (2013). Assessment of item-writing flaws in multiple-choice questions. Journal for Nurses in Professional Development, 29, 52–57.

Most people need this course.

Most people think they write acceptable multiple-choice questions. I certainly did until my mistakes were pointed out to me many years ago. I resolved to improve my skills.

If you aren't sure of the answer to <
Writing well-written, valid multiple-choice questions that measure achievement of the learning objectives is a critical skill for people who design instruction. (The correct answer is c.) This course will teach you how to write clear and relevant multiple-choice questions that measure achievement of the learning objectives.

Take the quiz to to see what you don't yet know about writing multiple-choice questions.

What's included?
The Write Better Multiple-Choice Questions course is self paced and equivalent to a one to two day classroom workshop. We know you are busy so we allow 90 days to complete it and to review course elements as many times as you wish.

"Self-paced" means you can start whenever you want. It’s fully online, so no travel or travel expenses! And, whenever you have a question, you can ask and Patti will answer.

The course includes:
- Patti’s multiple-choice question writing book
- Job aids: action verb, learning objective, and multiple-choice questions
- Extensive online content and check your understanding questions with feedback
- Real-life practice activities
- Videos discussing critical learning objectives and multiple-choice question concepts
- Video transcripts that include slides and script
- Asynchronous discussions to ask questions and discuss insights
- Three quizzes to help you process and remember critical course content

Once you enroll, an email will arrive in your inbox in less than 30 minutes to the email address you supplied while enrolling. (Make sure to give us with an email address that you use frequently or you will miss important communications from us!) This email will have further instructions and you can get started immediately. You have 90 days to complete the course but can easily complete it in a few weeks if you have the time to devote to the course.
What are the learning objectives?

The learning objectives for this course are:
- Write well-written learning objectives to inform your multiple-choice questions.
- Analyze learning objective and multiple-choice questions to identify flaws that should be fixed.
- Write relevant multiple-choice items that measure achievement of your learning objectives.

Who should take this course?
The Write Better Multiple-Choice Questions course was specifically for workplace-learning practitioners and adult educators who need to write more valid assessments. This includes instructional designers, trainers, instructors, content experts, technical writers, and others. The course uses actionable research tactics for writing valid multiple-choice questions and is best suited for people who have some experience designing instruction.

How much time does the course take?
We expect the course activities and practice elements to take about 8-10 hours to complete. Interacting in the discussions and reading parts of the manual could add an extra 2-6 hours, depending on your questions and needs. 

Above is the course welcome video.  Click on the play button to watch.

David Ellis, Publishing Manager for NZCER Press, gave me permission to give you two of their articles that provide more depth on validity and reliability.

Below is an example of the numerous check your understanding questions throughout the course

What else do I need to know?

Contact us at

The cost for the class is US$349/person. We accept credit cards and PayPal for payment.  

Once you register, you have immediate access to all course materials. As a result, we don't offer refunds.

Can I share the materials with my team?
Course materials are copyrighted and each enrollment allows only the enrollee to access the course, materials, and activities. But we'd love to train your team! If interested, email for group discounts or to set up a workshop specifically for your team.

Team discounts?
If you have a team to enroll in this course, contact us at for discounts for 5+ team members enrolling at the same time.

Ready to enroll?
Scroll down to the enroll button. Before enrolling, make sure this is a good time to complete the course. We aim to greatly improve your multiple-choice question writing skills and you'll need time for the course and activities.

If you aren't ready to enroll right now but want to be kept up to date on the course and new courses, sign up for our email list at the top of We don't sell anyone's contact information e v e r and don't send out a lot of email.

Write Better Multiple-Choice Questions modules and lessons

Patti Shank

Patti Shank, PhD is a learning expert, researcher, author, and writer who is listed as one of the Top 10 Most Influential People in eLearning internationally. She is the author of Write and Organize for Deeper Learning, Practice and Feedback for Deeper Learning, and Manage Memory for Deeper Learning. These books offer practical tactics for improving outcomes based on training and other research. You can find Patti's articles on eLearning Industry and elsewhere. Website:

Patti’s course on writing assessments has been invaluable in helping me write effective, credible assessments for my online learning courses and assessments. There is a wealth of well-researched detail about what exactly goes into writing an effective multiple-choice question and how these questions relate to the bigger picture of effective learning. I strongly recommend this course to anyone who wants to make their learning more effective as well as anyone who needs to write effective assessments.

Nick Tchan
Instructional designer, Australia

-Patti provided me with comprehensive research to practice guides, interactive class sessions, and robust practice experiences to foster the critical skill set of writing substantive multiple-choice questions to assess actual learner performance.  I strongly encourage everyone involved with performance assessment to take Patti's illuminating and enriching course.

Andrew Muccio
Instructional Designer, USA

This course has an expert facilitator, top-notch resource materials, well-designed practice activities, in-depth research on the topic, and lively discussion both live and online. We explored not just the How of writing good multiple choice questions, but also the Why. Perfect timing! My new project includes a summative assessment, and I'm excited to apply what I learned.

Kim Lindsey
Lead Learning Experience Designer, USA

This training gave me insight into the many factors involved in creating effective multiple-choice questions. It has prepared me to better advise instructors on whether multiple-choice questions are the best tool, and how they can be crafted to generate reliable, valid data. 

Anna Landes Benz
Program and Faculty Developer,  USA 

Course Pricing

  • MCQ SP
  • $349 USD

    One enrollment in Write Better Multiple-Choice Questions Self-Paced