Five Things to Consider When Choosing eLearning Authoring Tools for Quizzes, Tests, and Surveys


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This presentation is taken from my blog posts and discusses the value of assessment methods (quizzes, tests, and feedback surveys) to eLearning courses, the skill needed to create them, options for authoring tools, functionality needed in the tools, and how they work within an LMS. This is # 3 in a series of 9. Others in the series discuss these same Five Things for Graphics, "Moving Media", News & Events, File Sharing, Collaborative Works, Student Records, HTML Content, and Distribution (LMS). Read the full story at

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Five Things to Consider When Choosing eLearning Authoring Tools for Quizzes, Tests, and Surveys

  1. 1. Five Things to Consider When Choosing eLearning Authoring Tools Assessment Tools: Quizzes, Tests, Surveys 3 rd in a series of 9
  2. 2. About This Presentation This PowerPoint Show is taken from my blog Penny For Your Thoughts: Simplifying e-Learning for Business , where the posts can be read in their entirety.
  3. 3. What is an Authoring Tool? <ul><li>A pencil and a piece of paper.  </li></ul><ul><li>A knife and a tree large enough to carve something in the trunk.  </li></ul><ul><li>An eLearning authoring tool is software that allows us to create and publish our material in electronic format.  </li></ul><ul><li>Wikipedia says: “ An authoring tool is a software package which developers use to create and package content deliverable to end users.”   </li></ul>
  4. 4. Five Things <ul><li>Will it add value? Based on the training design for my audience, what features and functionality do I need?  Which are nice to have?  Which are not relevant? </li></ul><ul><li>Do we have the skill to do it or the time to learn it?  What can I (or my employees) do and what should we contract out to others?  Is this how we should be spending our time?  </li></ul><ul><li>What are my options?  What applications are out there and what are the trade-offs regarding price, ease of use, and capability? Which is better:  Open Source or proprietary software? </li></ul><ul><li>What functionality do I need? What do I need the application for?  To create, to edit, to view, all of that?  What will my students want it for and what is best for them ?  What applications are highly specific and which are “multi-taskers” that I can get more value from? </li></ul><ul><li>Will it work in my LMS? How will these applications work together in my eLearning environment? </li></ul>
  5. 5. Features of GREAT eLearning <ul><li>Graphics (pictures, illustrations, tables, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Moving Media (audio, video, flash animation, screen casts </li></ul><ul><li>Assessments (quizzes, tests, surveys) </li></ul><ul><li>News (forums, RSS, streaming) </li></ul><ul><li>File sharing (students and teachers; uploading and downloading) </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative efforts (web meetings, chats, wikis) </li></ul><ul><li>Student “records” (grades, participation, profiles) </li></ul><ul><li>HTML (text, links, etc.) content </li></ul><ul><li>LMS to package it all up together and deliver it to the students. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Will it Add Value? <ul><li>Reinforce concepts as you go: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Short answer “pop-up” quizzes at frequent intervals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Open-book” to reinforce concepts, not test knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Measure comprehension and/or competency: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More formal; “closed-book” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Might be prescribed by regulating agency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Must be written by skilled test designer to be of any value </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Should also include verbal, written, and/or project evaluation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Take the pulse of the students; improve the course: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Get feedback on the material, course layout, technology used, and/or the teacher at least once per course; more often if possible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Compare perceptions & feelings to test scores </li></ul></ul>Yes, if they are well-written, valid and reliable instruments. If not, don’t bother!
  7. 7. Do I Have the Skill? <ul><li>The skill to write tests and surveys is often underestimated. It is not easy . It should not be taken lightly! Get help from a pro or use proven examples. </li></ul><ul><li>It is quite easy to create tests and surveys using online tools. </li></ul>
  8. 8. What Are My Options? <ul><li>Modules included in the LMS: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Moodle: Quizzes great; Surveys not so much </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Joomla QuizForce </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Flash versions to link or embed in your LMS: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Articulate Quizmaker </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adobe Captivate 4 (Quiz Maker) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>External to your LMS: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Articulate Engage for “pop-up” quizzes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drupal Webform for surveys (and quizzes!) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Code your own! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To write the questions & analyze the results: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Local university (ask for a survey/measurement expert) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consultant (like Albany Analytical!) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge of statistics and software such as Minitab </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. What Functionality Do I Need? <ul><li>To wake up the students or reinforce a concept: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Audio recording ability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Graphics and multi-media attachment to questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Video or flash output </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To measure knowledge: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ability to capture grades & analyze (statistically) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ability to reuse questions, edit them, shuffle answers and questions, and a variety of “strictness” settings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Delivery method that does not bias the results </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To measure competency and/or certification: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Industry standard tests and/or methods of delivery </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To get feedback (from a survey): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ability to capture data in a valid, non-biased manner </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can usually use a “quiz” function with “survey” questions. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Will this Tool Work in My LMS? <ul><li>If you use the integrated modules within your LMS, Yes. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Caution: Some modules such as feedback surveys don’t make it into revisions, so they may “break”. Make sure you can recover both the questions and the results. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For flash and other external applications, always check with your LMS admin to make sure. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Next Time... <ul><li>Collaborative and Social eLearning features: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>News </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forums </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chats </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>File sharing </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Follow me...Contact me <ul><li>Read the rest of this post and more at </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Follow me on Twitter/PennyMondani </li></ul><ul><li>Join me on LinkedIn (/in/PennyMondani) </li></ul><ul><li>View Moodle Demo Courses at </li></ul><ul><li>Learn more at </li></ul><ul><li>pmondani @ </li></ul>