Writing Assessment Questions #1

Writing Assessment Questions #1

The SME has plenty of knowledge of their domain, but may not have the time, patience, or experience to write an effective test for their training. In this first of many descriptions, I’ll demonstrate how I tackle the task of authoring assessments and test questions, let’s evaluate a question sent to me by a subject matter expert (SME).

Which of the following are NOT considered to be a type of control measure for reducing the risk of health and safety hazards?

A: Personal protective equipment
B: Engineering controls
C: Environmental controls
D: Administrative controls

Answer: C. The first problem I see is that the question asks the learner to recall the incorrect response. Focus the questions on what is correct. In this case, the objective of the training is to teach the learner what three control measures help reduce risk. We are not teaching what does NOT reduce risk. In this case, the distractors are fine; we need only to modify the question.

Next, I personally despise questions that make me guess how many responses are correct. (We’ll leave that in our high school past). For adult learners taking corporate training, inform them of the expectation. This is neither a certification program nor a life threatening program.

Finally, the question is a bit verbose; let’s rewrite it.

Select three control measures that reduce the risk of health and safety hazards.

A: Personal protective equipment
B: Engineering controls
C: Environmental controls
D: Administrative controls

Answers: A, B, and D. The question is shorter in length and instructs the learner to choose correct three options.

See Writing Assessment Questions #2

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