December 5, 2023

Like many of you, I’m not a big fan of meetings because most of them tend to be presentations. I keep thinking, “Why didn’t they just record the presentation and send it out instead of having a bunch of people sitting in a meeting with no expectations or actions? It seems like a big waste of time.”

We’ve all been to those meetings. And we don’t like them. Why?

Because while on the surface the purpose of the meeting appears to be meaningful, for most attendees the meetings are largely irrelevant with lots of “need to know” but not enough “need to do”.

Take that same emotion and apply it to typical e-learning courses, especially annual compliance training and certification training. Most of these courses have what appears to be valuable content, but for the student, the course is a lot of “need to know” but very little “need”.

And that’s why people click through the course at breakneck speed, trying to get to the quiz as quickly as possible.

This is why we see so many questions about how to lock the navigation, because the course owners know that people will not sit through this boring and irrelevant content.

In an ideal world, the course is structured to be meaningful and relevant and provide the best learning experience possible. But that’s not likely to happen, especially not with most compliance training.

It’s alright. The reality is that most of these courses are mandatory and there is not much we can do about it. But instead of fighting it, let’s look at some simple ways to improve these odds.

Quiz Tip #1: Provide a pretest

Don’t worry about skipping the quiz. Instead, put it forward. Give students who know the content an opportunity to prove it beforehand.

If they pass the quiz, they demonstrate that they know the content (or at least at the level you’re quizzing). Take the quiz and get credit for completing it. Do not take the quiz, go to page 1 of the course.

e-learning quiz before and after the test

Click here for a sample quiz.

Quiz Tip #2: Create pressure to review the content

Ask in the quiz where you suspect they are likely to skip. Don’t ask trick questions, but essential questions that cover the main content. When they’re not sure how to answer, they’ll go look it up.

In the screenshot below, it’s likely that the person doesn’t know RCW and all the answers are viable, so they’re probably forced to look up the answer to the question rather than risk missing it.

e-learning quiz

I can guarantee you that if someone asks them something very specific that they don’t know, they will jump right into the content to find it. And then you’ll have them in the course where they’ll learn what they need to know to pass the quiz.

Quiz Tip #3: Make the quiz a course

Don’t start frame by frame of content. Instead, start with the first quiz question. And then regardless of how they respond, provide the essential content.

You cannot post fifty images of content. As the course author, this forces you to identify the core content you want them to know and then create an appropriate question to assess that knowledge.

Bonus tip: you can also make it more interesting by setting the questions as a scenario rather than basic quiz questions.

quiz is an e-learning course quiz tips

Click here for a sample quiz.

There’s a reason people skip the content and take the quiz. In an ideal world, the course is meaningful and relevant to what they need to learn. That’s probably enough to keep them on course. However, if you find that they are skipping content, above are three good alternatives to try.


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