A recent paper examined the effects of multiple choice quizzes (MCQs) on students' learning* and best practices for optimising learning from MCQs (Butler, 2018). Simply put, Moodle's quiz module can be leveraged to produce substantial learning gains, especially with frequent low/no-stakes quizzes to review previously studied material. I've summarised and elaborated on the paper's findings as follows:
Don’t use complex (multi-stage) MCQs. Too complex, too easy to get it wrong, less reliable than simple, don’t add anything to learning/test validity.
Target specific (and hopefully authentic) cognitive processes with MCQs, e.g. individual definitions (item specific) and compare & contrast (relational). What decisions/distinctions do learners have to make in practice?
Don’t use “None of the above” or “All of the above” (see #1 = complex MCQs).
3 options = 1 correct + 2 high quality (plausible) distractors. More aren’t necessary and can have negative effects.
MCQs should be challenging to learners but not too difficult (or too easy), i.e. should test ILOs at the level taught.
Extra: Provide appropriate feedback on wrong answers. Feedback can be:
- corrective (i.e. give the correct
- directive (i.e. tell the learner how to get to the correct
answer; the process),
- or epistemological (i.e. use further questions
to elicit the learners’ relevant knowledge about the question
*Also see the testing effect (e.g. Roediger & Karpicke, 2006), also known as retrieval practice (e.g. Agarwal, Roediger, McDaniel, & McDermott, 2018)
I hope this helps!