How can I use online quizzes?

How does it align with the module learning outcomes? Does it assess or practice skills and knowledge that are key to the discipline?

Frequent quizzes can facilitate opportunities for students to obtain feedback quickly and accurately on their performance. They are most commonly used for simple recall of factual information and so very useful for foundational knowledge assessment. However more creative uses of quizzes can assess other learning outcomes such as criticality and analysis. See the previous page for some examples.

Quizzes can assess session content separately and/or be cumulative throughout the module in order to assess students’ abilities to make links between concepts.


Will it be formative or summative? If summative, will I give opportunities for practice? When will it occur in the term/module? What will the weighting be?

Quizzes provide better information about students learning to both students and teachers if they are repeated frequently. A greater number of low-weighted quizzes is likely to be more beneficial for students than a small number of highly weighted ones.

If the quiz will be summative, ensure the order of the questions is random for individual students in order to minimise the potential for collusion.

If the quizzes are formative, you can use digital badges for motivation.


How will I mark it? What criteria will I use? How will I give feedback?

A key pro of online quizzes is automated marking, which means formative feedback can occur frequently and quickly. Quizzes should be designed with feedback about why certain answers are incorrect.

You do not need therefore, to give formal feedback on the quiz, but you should refer to results of quizzes in lectures and seminars so students are aware this is an important opportunity for feedback and are more likely to engage. You can use the data to plan additional work on problematic concepts for future lessons.

See this resource for examples of using quiz analytics as a form of generic feedback in class.


How will I set it up?

Quizzes are a very common form of assessment, and there are many resources on how to use Moodle or apps to design quizzes. King’s CTEL and King’s Online are available for help with the functionality of KEATS for developing online quizzes, and have worked with departments to create bespoke quizzes. A quick guide from CTEL on creating quizzes in KEATS and a link to some further help and support can be found here.

City University has developed a free app called Quodl which students may prefer to KEATS in class for ease of accessibility on mobile devices, although currently its functionality is limited.



Do you want to set a time limit for completion of the quiz?

Do you want to set a deadline for completion during the module?

Do you want to include a variety of question types? Ensure that question types match the type of learning that you want to assess. The Moodle help site resource provides a list of common question types as well as how to set them up. Do consider the appropriateness of the  item type for your learning outcomes! 

Do you want to include distractors which identify common areas of conceptual confusion?

Do you want to randomise the order of the questions for each student, or for groups?

Do you want to test the same point through several variant questions to avoid ‘lucky guessing’? This takes more time initially but allows for the possibility of reusing quizzes. Here is an example from The Open University


It is a good idea to have someone take the test in order to trial it before it goes live. Students can lose trust in tests (even formative ones) with questions which are ambiguous or unclear or have typos. You can use quiz analytics to determine questions which do not discriminate.


How do I address potential challenges?

Do I need to make any modifications for accessibility/inclusivity? Can I build these into the design?

Ensure quizzes are formatted in a way that screen readers can use, for example, using full stops after MCQ options.  Take care when formatting diagrams for visually impaired students.  See Birkbeck for all.

Moodle has a function to grant extensions for quiz deadlines for students with KIPs and MCs

Much research has been conducted on the disadvantage of MCQs in particular for females (Hazel et al, 1997; Wilson et al, 2016). More recent research  has found no significant bias (Hedgeland et al, 2018). However, it is worth varying the types of question for quizzes to maximise inclusivity.

As with all assignment briefs and exam specifications, consider the wording of questions to avoid ambiguity.


How can I introduce it to students?

Explain to students the value of the quizzes as a means of providing feedback. If you refer to them briefly at the beginning of each lecture or seminar, or have students discuss their progress in groups to identify collective problems, this helps to flag the quizzes as a core feedback tool.

For modules with a large examination component, you can encourage students to see the quizzes as examination strategy practice. Although do take care not to duplicate questions for the final exam as students may be encouraged to memorise answers!

If you are concerned about student engagement, you can also make the completion of quizzes a pre-requisite to accessing the following session’s materials on KEATS.

Having students create their own quiz questions can stimulate assessment literacy at the same time as revising module content. It adds an extra layer of motivation and you could award the best questions by including them in your test bank for future tests