Whether you are running an evening quiz or creating full blown adventure game you need great questions and assignments. In this post I focus on the basics of creating good questions for any quizzes.
1. The fun comes from the questions being challenging to answer, but not impossible.
Impossible questions are easy to make, challenge is to create questions that take effort to answer but are still answerable.
Take into account that when people need to do something physical (move around, try things out), fair amount of their “processing power” goes to move their body. So alter your question difficulty accordingly. Want to make a question tougher? Set time limit or just say that the question will be timed. It will automagically become tougher task.
2. Make every question a learning moment.
Give hints within the question and allow for ways to find out about the answer. Also prepare for “additional comment that adds insight after answer.”
Loquiz allows you to add photos, videos, pre-clues (before question opens), hints (during question is open) and after answer comments (after players gave the answer). Even if you are running paper quiz you can still use hints and comments.
3. Use several sources to get the questions from.
You can get question ideas from specific subjects (like a “Bond movie”), from participants (like “Our company stuff”), from the physical world around the players etc. You can also use logic and “try it out” type questions where answers can be found out by thinking and trying. Companies using Loquiz usually have their basic set of general questions that they complement with location specific tasks. They also ask clients to add some content about their own team/field.
4. Use suitable question type for the question and occasion.
Choosing correct question type makes answering more fun, will affect the difficulty of the question and make scoring way easier. When using software that automatically checks the correctness of an answer you want to be as clear as possible. But even on paper suitable answer type makes a difference.
In Loquiz most used question type is multiple choice (several choices, one is correct), this is the clearest and safest bet in many cases. Use multiple answer questions (several choices, several answers) to make people research the matter more. Use number answers when outcome is specific and multiple choice would give too much info about the answer (like counting something, calculations, logic). Use text answer when string is very clear (like anagram, finding a word, name). With text answer the issue is that many words have synonyms, can be written in single or plural etc. So make sure you give enough hints about how to form ans answer.
5. Validate your question and answer.
Sometimes question can be understood in many ways. Some facts that appear to be established are actually not. Different sources might give different answers to the same question. In physical environment somebody looking at things from different perspective might come to a different answer. There are several ways to make sure the correct answer is really correct. Some of them:
– do that extra bit of research (like look at the second page of google search)
– ask somebody else to go and answer your questions (especially handy with location specific stuff)
– use multiple choice answer type (so you can define options to choose from and therefore limit possibilities)
At the end of the day people playing your game will check your questions for accuracy. In Loquiz majority of the questions are used in several games for this very reason.
Check out globalquiz.org and take some quizzes to see how they mainly use multiple choice answers to make answering clear and after answer comments to turn each question into a learning moment (you will learn even if you know the answer).