How to add Quizzes and Surveys to Your Online Course

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We discuss how to add quizzes and surveys to your online course in this episode of LMScast with Chris Badgett of LifterLMS. Chris gets into the value behind having examinations in your online courses, and how you can do that with the recently released Advanced Quizzes add-on for LifterLMS.

Integrating assessments into your online course or membership site can bring a lot of versatility to your online platform. Quizzes and tests allow you to check to make sure your students are retaining the information you are teaching. This can be very handy if you are giving students the opportunity to earn certifications through your course.

Online courses can be used for certification purposes to show competency in a particular skill, such as digital marketing. Earning certifications from online courses is one reason that many people take an online course. When offering certifications it is important to have some kind of test or examination to guarantee somebody has an acceptable understanding of the subject matter.

We talk a lot at LifterLMS about the power and importance of engagement, and a big part of that is feedback loops in online courses or membership sites. Quizzes and tests open up that feedback loop and allow you to teach in a more effective manner so your students will be able to apply what they are learning in the real world.

One of the things that is so innovative about LifterLMS is the instructional design aspect of the course builder. It allows you to lay out your course however you want to, and now you can have different types of questions in your quizzes, such as upload questions where your students upload a picture of themselves doing a yoga position or something else for your course.

Another new option is that you can rate the importance of a question on a scale of one to ten, and if you want to have a question that has no weight on the grade you can enter a zero point value in, and it will not be counted in the score.

LifterLMS also has different roles for your site such as the LMS manager, student, and instructor’s assistant, and these roles have different permissions for what they can do on the website. You can also add more instructors to your platform so your site can scale with your business.

Let us know how you are using LifterLMS quizzes and if you want to come on the LMScast Podcast and do a case study interview about your online certification program. Let us know and we would love to have you on!

You can subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. Thank you for joining us.

Episode Transcript

Chris Badgett: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. My name is Chris Badgett, and today we’re going to be talking about using quizzes, assessments, and surveys in your online course or membership site. In this particular episode, we’re going to be focusing in on the release of the LifterLMS new quiz builder system and also the Advanced Quizzes add-on and what you can do with it. But at a high level, it’s one thing to have an online course. It’s another thing to have quizzes and tests and examinations.

So what are some of the main reasons why you might have quizzes or tests inside your online course? Probably the most popular reason is for certification purposes. So if you are creating a course that helps somebody fulfill mandatory continuing education requirements or they’re trying to get a certificate that will display some kind of competency in a particular skill, like digital marketing or how to use a certain piece of software, that they can then use to help them get a job or get more clients and that sort of thing.

But in order to guarantee that somebody has a minimum level or acceptable level of competency, you have to have a test or some kind of examination, not just the fact that they purchased the course or went through the course and watched the videos. But did they actually understand? Are they actually able to implement and do the things that the course promised it would teach them how to do? Examinations or quizzes or tests are a way to help do that.

And for some of us out there, I know quizzes and tests historically may have somewhat of a negative connotation of sitting in a cold, hard, uncomfortable chair, filling out bubbles on a piece of paper. But quizzes don’t have to be that boring. You don’t even have to call it a quiz. You can call it a challenge. You can call kinds of other things. So I’d encourage you that, if you kind of have a negative reaction to the word quiz and test for your online course, then perhaps you don’t have … you’re not really testing for a certificate or whatever. You can still use quizzes to reinforce learning, to challenge people.
But also, importantly, open up a feedback loop. We talk a lot at LifterLMS about the power and the importance of engagement, and part of that is feedback loops. And if you want students to actually complete and finish the course, it’s very important that they understand the material and are able to get the results with the material. And what we’ve found is, and as you know intuitively, is not every person is the same in your online course.
So when you have a quiz and a test, especially with a situation where some of the questions require manual grading, you are opening up a feedback loop that allows you to teach more effectively, make sure that what you’re trying to teach is landing well with the student, they’re retaining it, and, more importantly, they’re able to apply that out there in the real world to get the results that your course promise. And you can test all that through quizzes.
So the LifterLMS … the learning management system, online course, and membership site software behind this podcast, that sponsors this podcast, is … it’s exploding in growth in terms of adoption. People are moving in from other tools, or they’re building their first course with Lifter because it makes it approachable and it has a good model where you can get going essentially for free, validate your idea, and then start adding add-ons for various other features or integrations and things of that nature. It’s really growing very fast right now.
And as this new quiz system rolls out, I’m seeing more and more people coming in to Lifter to use its quiz system. I want to talk about it a little bit. So the first thing is, one of the innovative things about LifterLMS is our course builder. So you can essentially build out the curriculum, the outline, the skeleton … whatever you want to call it for your course very quickly. So instructional design is a real skillset, so I don’t mean to understate it. I recommend spending a lot of a time, especially if you’re not a classically trained teacher or instructor of any kind, mapping out your knowledge.
You could use mind maps. You can make lists. You could use post-it notes, but once you’ve kind of got it in a … at least conceptually in an outline format sort of like the chapters in a book or the table of contents, once you have that penciled down or in a spreadsheet or whatever, now, you’re ready to create the course itself with the learning software. So you can basically … with the one-screen course builder, you can lay out your course, your sections, your lessons. And then, at the lesson level, you can start attaching quizzes and start building those out.
So we’ve added the ability to use the quiz builder on the course builder, which means it just furthers the vision and the mission we have to make course building and having your own learning platform without getting locked into renting space on somebody else’s platform. You get to own it. You get to control it, and we want to make it easy for you to build and drive and create and be creative with your course.
So you can now open up the quiz builder. You can add … you can create a short mini-quiz or a long exam, whatever you want to call it. You can do that now from the course builder, so you can add different question types like multiple choice, picture choice, true/false. In our advanced add-on, you can bring in all kinds of other stuff like fill in the blank. You can do long answer requiring manual grading, short answer … we even have an upload question type. So if you want to kind of test somebody or ask them to upload a picture of themselves doing something, like a yoga pose or working out in a certain way or a spreadsheet about their business metrics or whatever it is, you can do that with the upload question type.
We’ve also got a code question type and more. There’s just a lot of new question types in LifterLMS advanced quizzes. So basically, what that allows you to do is when you get to that point where you’ve got your outline and you’ve got, hopefully, some of your content together … but let’s say you’re kind of really ready to start bringing form to this curriculum to actually put it inside the website, to start building it out and polishing it, potentially piloting early students through it, getting some feedback on how it’s working, starting to grade some people and collect feedback from them. You can start doing that with LifterLMS and the new quiz builder and advanced quizzes.
Also, at Lifter, we’re super focused on our community and our user base and our customer base and even people who aren’t Lifter customers yet and they’re trying to do things. We’re always listening, and one of the things we heard was that some people wanted to use the quiz tool, but not as a test or exam tool. They wanted to use it in a different way. So we heard that, and what they wanted to do was basically use it as a tool to collect information from people where it’s not graded, but you can use some of those same question types I just described to do things like collect a testimonial, collect feedback on how effective was the course, either in qualitatively or quantitatively. Like, on a scale of 1 to 10. The scale, that’s another question type.
You could have people rating your course so that you’re getting that feedback. It doesn’t count against their grade, but you’re using a certain question within a quiz or just kind of creating its own assessment that comes towards the end of the course where you get that kind of feedback. Or perhaps you’re just checking in with your students along the way about how their results are coming along and so on. That’s a way to use that hidden feature inside the quiz system, which basically works like this.
You can have a question that has a certain point value. That’s kind of how you come up with a grade. The classic example is 9 multiple choice questions, and then the 10th question is a long answer essay that’s worth, let’s say, half the grade. So each one of those other questions are one point each, and then the essay at the end is worth nine points. So that’s how you would come up with that scenario. But if you put a zero point value on a particular question’s weight, what you’re doing there is you are making it so that that question happens, but it doesn’t count against the grade. So that’s how you collect that assessment or survey data and potentially open up a feedback loop if you want to add remarks. So that’s just a secret feature we snuck into the LifterLMS quiz system based on the feedback of the community.
So quizzing is … it’s an interesting thing. Not everybody uses it. You don’t have to use quizzes, but maybe even just that little piece I said there at the end, about why not collect a testimonial or honest review or whatever you want to call it at the end of the last lesson in order for them to complete the course. That’s just an idea that you could use the quiz system for, but maybe you want to do a deep dive, and you’re doing lots of deep assessments and really personalizing the experience. And just the ability for a teacher or an instructor’s assistant to leave remarks can be very helpful.
So that’s also important to note. In LifterLMS, there are these various different roles that instructors … or that you have on your site. We’ve got the instructor. We’ve got the instructor’s assistant. We’ve got the student. We’ve got the LMS manager. All these different roles have different permissions and can do different things, so when you design your course, it doesn’t always have to be just you. If you’re building a team or you’re doing a multi-instructor platform, you can kind of scale all this that we’re talking about and move from the online course to the online school. So LifterLMS can scale with you, if that’s where you’re headed. Or you could just be a one course show, or you could be a membership site that has several courses in it and other premium content or benefits. LifterLMS is completely flexible and scalable in that way.
So I’d love to hear from you and how you’re using LifterLMS quizzes. If anybody would like to come on this podcast and do a case study interview about your online certification program and how you use quizzes, I’d love to do it. I’d love to really get into how it’s working for you, what you’re doing with it, how you add value, how you personalize so that the community here can learn from a case study.
So that’s it for this episode. This is a … I haven’t done a solo episode in a while, but I just wanted to share the good news about the new LifterLMS quiz system and the advanced add-on called advanced quizzes. If you’re at all interested in that, head on over to You can find out more about that, and yeah. Check out LifterLMS advanced quizzes and see what you can do with all those different question types. So thank you everybody for listening, and I hope you have a great rest of your day.

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