Writing and using multiple choice questions (MCQs)

The overall objective of this course is to apply research-based recommendations that can help teaching staff to exploit the potential of multiple-choice quizzes as learning tools. The course materials and activities cover three main areas: the use of recommended guidelines to write multiple-choice questions; the design of multiple-choice questions that target the development of higher-order thinking skills; and the integration of multiple-choice quizzes with other course elements.

The course is activity-based and participants are expected to complete a series of weekly activities to put into practice the topics introduced in the course. Participants are encouraged to use one of their own courses as the basis for the activities so that they can have the work completed in the course ready to use in their teaching practice.

Week One will focus on:

  • introducing what the learning sciences say about how we learn and the use of quizzes
  • reflecting on ways of using quizzes in teaching
  • practicing how to write MC questions following research-based guidelines

Week Two will focus on:

  • exploring how MC questions can target higher-order thinking skills
  • becoming familiar with Blooms taxonomy, Webbs’ depth of knowledge or similar frameworks that can support the design of this type of questions
  • practicing how to write MC questions for higher-order thinking skills

Week Three will focus on:

  • reflecting and applying feedback from week one and two to design further MC questions
  • setting up a MC quiz using one of the digital tools available at CBS
  • preparing and submitting a plan where participants present their rationale for using MC quizzes in their teaching

This course does not include graded assignments. All activities are assessed for formative purposes and to provide continuous feedback. The course includes teacher and peer feedback. Individual guidance and support will be offered throughout the course, while the three end-of-week online meetings will be devoted to general feedback, Q&A and open discussion.

To pass the course, participants are expected to complete all activities of the course. Upon completion of the course, participants will receive a formal certificate.

Target group

  • Teaching staff planning to introduce multiple-choice quizzes in their courses or staff who are already using multiple-choice quizzes but would like to rethink their use and applications in teaching and learning.
  • Teaching staff interested in the design of multiple-choice quizzes that follow research-based writing guidelines and target higher-order thinking skills.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Explain what the learning sciences say about the potential of MC quizzes in teaching and learning
  • Identify how MC quizzes can support teaching and learning in their courses
  • Write MC questions following research-based guidelines and targeting higher-order thinking skills
  • Plan the use of quizzes in connection with learning outcomes, feedback and other activities of their courses
  • Set up MC quizzes by using one of the digital tools available at CBS.


1 day

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Nuria Lopez