Digital quizzes

Quizzes help students assess their progress and identify areas for development. They also provide scalable solutions for assessment at scale.

For formative assessment, quizzes offer:

  • automated feedback on individual progress of value to both students and teachers
  • opportunities to challenge students to engage and interact with what they are learning

As summative assessment, quizzes offer:

  • flexible ways for students to demonstrate their learning
  • automated marking and grading at scale

You should plan quizzes into your Learning Journey from an early stage to ensure that they are integrated into the learning experience.

Accessibility and inclusivity

The tools and systems available at the University (such as Minerva) are developed to conform to accessibility standards for digital technology. The accessibility recommendations for how to write online content apply to quizzes as well.

Writing Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQs)

Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQs) should relate to learning outcomes or objectives to ensure that your students are assessed on the content of the module.

Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning provides a useful framework to ensure that questions are as thorough as possible. It is a respected educational hierarchy of tasks, from the lowest to highest levels of learning:

  1. Recall – list, identify, locate, describe or define.
  2. Understanding – interpret, summarise, explain or infer
  3. Application – use, apply, solve or calculate
  4. Creation, evaluation and analysis – plan, invent, judge, criticise or defend

Try to include as many questions at the ‘application’ level as possible and avoid (or limit) the amount of level one questions. Depending on the content of your module, it may be possible to include ‘creation, evaluation and analysis’ questions, potentially relating to specific case studies or more detailed questions.

Multiple-Choice Questions typically have four components:

  1. A stem: the question or phrase that prompts a selection of choices. This should challenge students’ progress in their learning.
  2. A correct choice: the correct answer or answers in response to the stem. You can usually set multiple attempts if students do not get the correct answer first.
  3. Plausible distractors: the incorrect answers in response to the stem. These should be plausible and not obviously wrong or unhelpfully confusing.
  4. Feedback: text that is displayed after the selection of correct or incorrect answers. This should not give away the answer if students have multiple attempts. It should also be meaningful; for instance, it could direct to further learning or elaborate.

The Multiple Choice Questions Template is structured to capture information for these components that you can adapt to your needs:

Tools and technologies for hosting quizzes

Tools and technologies for hosting quizzes

Minerva Test

The Minerva Test tool can be used for quizzes but, as they cannot be invigilated, should be restricted to low-stakes use or formative assessment in remote contexts.

There are 17 types of questions and most can be marked automatically. The principles in this guide that relate to MCQs can be applied and adapted for other question types. Common types are:

  • Multiple choice, multiple answer, opinion scale/Likert
  • Matching, either/or, true/false, ordering
  • Calculate formula, calculated numerically

These tests can be embedded directly into students’ learning in Minerva, making them ideal for formative assessment to prompt engagement with the material at hand.


How to step and use the Minerva Test tool for quizzes and tests.

Top Hat

Top Hat offers a range of question types that allow you to create quizzes and tests. It permits remote proctoring (locking down students’ machines) and allows you to invigilate the test to ensure that it runs correctly.


How to create an assessment in Top Hat


Gradescope supports a range of quiz types and allows you to create multiple choice, short answer and free response questions.


Guidance on using Gradescope for assessment

Microsoft Office 365 Forms

Microsoft Office 365 Forms can be also used to create low stakes quizzes.


IT support guidance on using Microsoft Forms

Downloads and links