Are your multiple-choice questions causing problems?

Assessment research shows many multiple-choice questions are poorly written. Nedeau-Cayo's study of thousands of nursing certification 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 people who design workplace or 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 course designers 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 was humiliated and 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 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 designed 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.

What does the course cost?

The cost for the class is US$349/person. We offer discounts for 3+ people from the same team, paid at the same time. We accept credit cards and PayPal for payment. We can also accept team enrollment payments via credit card using Stripe.

Ready to enroll?

Click on Enroll. 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 www.pattishank.com. We don't sell anyone's contact information E V E R and don't send out a lot of email.

Examples of course reference materials

Examples of course activities

Frequently asked questions

Based on what participants who have completed the course tell us, the course activities and practice elements take 10-20 hours to complete. This may vary, of course, 

Once you register, you have immediate access to all course materials so we can't offer refunds. If you know you are unable to attend before the course starts, you can substitute another participant in your place. If there's a  problem that occurs during the course, get in touch. We have a few options for making the course available when you have time.

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 info@pattishank.com for group discounts or to set up a workshop specifically for your team. We have discounts for 3+ team members enrolling  in the course at the same time or 10+ team members enrolling into a private team course. 

If you have questions, please get in touch! info@pattishank.com.

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: pattishank.com.

Patti’s course 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 comprehensive research to practice guides 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. 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 

All the information includes hands-on exercises, so you immediately practice to acquire understanding. I have just finished creating five online courses to learn English for Spanish speakers and will incorporate what I learned to make the quizzes better. I highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to improve the effectiveness of their content design. 

Robert Brandwayn
Language Coach and E-Learning Instructional Designer, Bogotá, Colombia

Great class!! I now have the tools I need to make question writing an easier and less painful process.

Mariann Foster
Instructional Designer, USA

Thank you! I learned a lot!

I have 15 years experience and still picked up important insights.

I put Patti's job-aids in a folder next to my desk.

Anonymous  course evaluation comments

I now have the tools I need to make question writing an easier and less painful process.

The quizzes gave me confidence and proof that I was learning.

The answers to questions in the discussion forum was a wow factor for me.

Anonymous course evaluation comments

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  • MCQ SP
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    One enrollment in Write Better Multiple-Choice Questions Self-Paced

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