Let’s talk about why you should use quizzes or assessments in your course.

You may be thinking, if my course is for experienced, smart, adult learners – do I really need to add quizzes or assessments?  Well, the answer is, yes. You should use quizzes in your course. Here’s why.

I’d like you to think about those online IQ tests we’ve all seen and tried ‘just for fun’ or even those “Which Game of Thrones character are you?” personality-type quizzes – they’re fun, right? They make you think – even if it’s just for a couple of seconds and more importantly they’re interesting and engaging.

Here’s what’s happening in our brains when we complete them – we get a little hit of Dopamine which makes us happy. Dopamine taps into the same neural circuitry involved in addiction, but it’s more than just a pleasure chemical, it also plays a vital role in learning and reinforcing our behaviours. Taking a quiz and getting a hit of Dopamine motivates us to keep going (and get more hits of Dopamine).

So, can you see why it’s a good idea to include quizzes/assessments in your course? Not only do they add engagement to your course and help course attendees retain information better, but they can also be a very useful tool to you as a course creator.

They can help you figure out if there are any gaps in your course content (where people aren’t quite ‘getting it’). Which in turn helps you refine your course content and improve your course’s effectiveness. It’s a win-win, right!

So, how can you use quizzes/assessments in your course?

  • You can start a module or lesson with a quiz/assessment. This has two benefits; it gives course attendees a preview of what’s coming so they know what to expect. And it gives you an idea of how much they know about the topic before they start vs what they retain after the lesson.
  • You can end a module or lesson with a quiz/assessment. That way they get a sense of achievement (and that little hit of Dopamine) when they successfully complete it. And you get invaluable feedback on your course content – are they “getting it” or not.
  • You can also use quizzes for problem-solving scenarios which can then be reviewed in live sessions or group discussions. This will help you see if your course attendees are able to apply the knowledge they’ve gained.
  • And lastly, if your course provides certification with a final exam, you can also use quizzes for exam practice.

Now, before you start writing out your quizzes/assessments you need to be clear on the following:

  • What do you want your course attendees to walk away knowing?
  • What specific concepts do you want to reinforce?

Where you can – you should also try to combine recall and comprehension questions (for the theory) along with application questions (can they actually apply the theory). That way you can figure out where they’re having problems. ie. Can they recall info, but not apply it. If they can’t apply it, then you know there’s a problem and you can tweak your content accordingly.

So, if you hadn’t considered using quizzes in your course, I hope this has convinced you to use them. They’re incredibly useful tools for course creators.