You will learn how to increase understanding, learner results, and value with the new LifterLMS quiz system and the Advanced Quizzes add-on in this episode of LMScast with Ali Mathis and Chris Badgett of the LifterLMS team. Chris and Ali discuss ways to engage students and the new question types in the LifterLMS Advanced Quizzes add-on, such as re-order pictures, short answer, fill in the blank, picture choice, and more.
The core LifterLMS software is free, and it allows you to create fantastic looking online courses with essential functionality. You can purchase add-ons to upgrade your site with various features for LifterLMS including Social Learning, Private Areas, and the newly released Advanced Quizzes add on.
LifterLMS has a quiz system in the free version where you can set up automatically graded multiple choice, picture choice, and true/false questions. Ali and Chris talk about the features that are added onto the quiz builder if you purchase the Advanced Quizzes Add-on, and how they can help you to engage your students on a more in-depth level.
Ali and Chris talk about using quizzes in your online courses to engage your students and provide the most value possible to them. The new Advanced Quizzes add-on allows you to use short and long answer questions that are manually graded.
Advanced Quizzes also allows you to build up a feedback loop with your students, which is very powerful for making sure your students are really learning the material. It also allows you as the teacher to personalize the learning experience for your customers.
One new question type in Advanced Quizzes allows you to have your students upload images, documents, spreadsheets, small audio files, and PDFs so you can ask students to submit the things they’re working on, similar to assignments.
To get started with LifterLMS you can check out the 30 day demo site where you can try the LifterLMS premium tools before you buy. There is also a 30 day money back guarantee on the LifterLMS add-ons, so there is no risk to trying those out and seeing if they work for your site!
Head to LifterLMS.com to find out more about the Advanced Quizzes add-on and the other course building products we have over there, and subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. Thank you for joining us!
Chris: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. My name’s Chris Badgett, and I’m joined by a special guest, Ali Mathis from the LifterLMS team. How you doing Ali?
Ali: Good Chris, how you doing?
Chris: Good. Ali may be out most repeat visitor, but I’m not sure which number this is, maybe four.
Ali: What do you mean maybe? Did somebody knock me off the throne? Last time we did a podcast I was absolutely the most repeat visitor.
Chris: I think you’re still winning. I think you’re still winning.
Chris: This episode is all about quizzes, quizzing, tests, assessments, how to use those in your online course or membership site. LifterLMS recently rolled out an advanced quizzes add-on, and introduces a new quiz upgrade to the base platform in LifterLMS 3.16, so we’re gonna talk about that a little bit.
But Ali, where should we start this party?
Ali: Can you just give everybody an overview of like, what advanced quizzes is, versus just regular quizzes in LMS, so people have a general overview, what’s going on.
Chris: Compared to regular quizzes in LifterLMS, or in any LMS?
Ali: No, in LifterLMS.
Chris: So, at LifterLMS, philosophically, what we do is we give away as much value as we possibly can for free, including this podcast where we give away all kinds of free information, tips, tricks, strategies, insights from other thought leaders in the industry. The core base plug-in of LifterLMS, which is free, you can download it at LifterLMS.com/free. It’s very powerful.
I heard one of our users the other day just say, you know with this tool, plus one payment gateway, which for LifterLMS that’s Stripe or PayPal or integrating through commerce, it’s a $99 add-on, what you have is way more powerful than the other tools out there. And I was like, that’s interesting, I appreciated that feedback.
But anyways, the core LifterLMS plug-in has always had a quiz system. Quizzing is a part of LMS, Learning Management System. It doesn’t mean you have to use it, you don’t have to have quizzes, but if you are doing test, quizzes can come in handy. So the core platform has always, since the beginning of LifterLMS, had automatically graded multiple choice questions that you can set up.
After LifterLMS 3.16, the core platform now has automatically graded multiple choice, and we added two more, which is picture choice, and also true/false. And we also introduces a new tool where you could have something called, multi-correct answer, which you could say like, which two of these are Presidents, as an example.
So that’s like a whole … It’s kind of a variation, so there’s actually more than those three question types if you factor the difference between single answer and multi-answer.
But anyways, that’s a lot of new features in the base, free version of LifterLMS, and the advanced add-on just adds a lot more question types and manual grading, and a lot of other things, which I’m sure we’ll talk about. But the base quiz, that’s what it is. If you had the old system, and you’re upgrading into it, all your automatically graded questions will migrate into the new system. We have a new quiz builder where you can build a quiz from one screen, instead of like 20, 50, or 500 screens, the way it used to work. The old way, which was a popular request.
Ali: I love the new quiz builder.
Chris: Thank you Ali, I appreciate it.
Ali: Yeah, yeah. So just to clarify Chris, I wanna be really clear because I’ve seen this question come in a lot. The new quiz builder is available in the core free LifterLMS plug-in. You do not need the advances quizzes plug-in.
Chris: Correct. Yeah, that’s just part of the upgrade. We’re always improving the cor LifterLMS software itself, to make it more usable. So as we were going to introduce advance question types and manual grading, we couldn’t do that in the highest and best service to the community without also improving the core foundation on which that’s built on. We’re making it much, much easier to build a quiz and manage quizzes from one screen.
Ali: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Okay, well let’s talk more about quizzes from like a big picture level. How do you think that having quizzes in your course is beneficial to your students, and to you as an instructor, and do you think that it increases your revenue as an entrepreneur? Is there an economic advantage to having quizzes in your courses, and maybe having advanced quizzes in your courses?
Chris: Excellent question. I think, whenever we make a decision, if you’re a course builder or a membership site builder, we care about what you have to say, but we care almost even more about the experience of your students or your members. And so, we’re always thinking about your customer, and what’s most important to your customer is them getting results and getting value out of your course.
And quizzes serve that need. And the amount of value they get out of that course, is correlated directly to the economic benefit of delivering a lot of value. So the question is, how do quizzes deliver value? At its simplest form, in quizzing it’s important … or in teaching and learning, it’s important to have common ground, you know with the instructor, where you have certain ideas that you establish and then you build on top of.
And online information and teaching is not just about the information where, you go to the course, you see the video, you press play, you watch the video, and you move on. Where the quiz comes in is, I don’t know about you Ali, but for me, as a busy parent with a lot going on in my home, in my community and everything like that, I got a lot of stuff coming at me, and not 100% that comes at me sticks forever, permanently in my brain.
Ali: I don’t know Chris, everything sticks in my brain, so it must be you.
Chris: So the quiz is a way to reinforce core concepts. So if I’m teaching a course about parenting, or I’m teaching a course about healthy cooking and like, how not to burn your food, and how to actually use oil properly, or pan selection, or whatever. Or if I’m teaching a business course, there’s certain ideas about being a lean start-up and being resourceful with little income, that are very important that you get more than … And I know if you press play on that video, you may get some of the good ideas, but you may not get them all. So fundamentally, the core benefit of a quiz, is just to reinforce learning. But there’s more we can go from there, that’s just the foundation.
Ali: Mm-hmm (affirmative). And how does LifterLMS’s quiz system compare to other options on the market?
Chris: So we took the long hard way to build the LifterLMS quiz system, which means we built it from scratch. What a lot of other tools do, is they bring in a code by a third party plug-in and integrate that to build a quiz system in their site. Or they just don’t offer quizzes and they allow you to integrate with third party quiz tools.
For us, seeing quizzing is a fundamental part of the Learning Management System, or an online course, should you choose to do quizzing, we felt it was very important to make it part of the core system. So that’s what makes us different, is ours is fully built from the ground up. It’s part of the software, it’s part of the experience, we’re not trying to cram something in that’s made somewhere else.
Ali: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Chris: And kinda make it work. That’s the big difference.
Ali: Okay. Just shifting gears a little bit, tell me about, because I know you look at people’s courses all day long. So tell me about some of the common mistakes or missteps that you see happening when people building quizzes?
Chris: So one of them is … one of the mistakes is just not doing it.
Chris: So, a lot of us … In marketing, it’s called a wallet-closing-word. If I say the word quiz or test, that’s about the least sexy thing I could possibly say in my pitch, like hey, I have a quiz and a test for you. And think some of that just comes from whatever childhood, college final exam, kinda test stress, psychology we have in our subconscious. But the reality is, if we take a step back, I almost didn’t wanna name it quizzing, like call it something else like, challenges or games, or something else.
But anyways, the biggest mistake is not using them, and there’s a trend in the industry called micro-quizzing, where a quiz could just be like … Let’s say you have really short lessons, like three to five minute video lessons, and there’s like one key concept, your quiz could simply be one question at the end of that one lesson that solidifies the core concept through a quiz.
So that would be an example of something you could add if you look at micro assessments to do that. The other big one that I see, and this is one of the benefits of the advanced quizzes add-on, is we have manual grading. So, we talked about this a lot in how online courses and memberships, sometimes there’s a tendency to automate things too early, and okay, I’m gonna build my perfect marketing, or health, or parenting certification course. And it’s gonna be completely automated from day one. Whereas if you were to do some like, let’s say, essay questions or a short answer, where they could write a short paragraph, or you ask people to upload something whether that’s an image of themselves doing something or something they made based on your course, you open the door for subjective feedback, and that opens up a feedback loop that can be very powerful for making sure the course is working, the students are learning.
And it also gives the teacher an opportunity to personalize that students experience, which can be very helpful. So, that’s another big one, is just not leveraging … making quizzes fun again, and not leveraging the feedback loop.
Ali: So, you brought up manual grading. Tell me a little bit more about how that works from the instructor’s perspective. How do they know when there’s been a quiz taken that they need to look at closely. And if I’m like, a super busy instructor, can I have an assistant or somebody else with a different user role grade those quizzes for me?
Chris: Absolutely. Yeah, there’s just a notification in the reporting area of the site, when the quizzes have been complete. There can also be notifications that are turned on if you want emails and even text messages, and stuff like that happens when somebody completes one.
Ali: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Chris: But I think for most people, they would just … As part of their routine, if they do have manually graded stuff, them or the instructors assistant, like you mentioned, could go in and start grading quizzes.
And in grading, we just take what has already worked in the offline world, and brought it online. So, if you remember how a teacher would give you a point value and then leave some remarks, that’s pretty much what you do. You can evaluate what they submitted, whether that’s an upload, a long answer, a code submission, short answer. And then you can, depending upon how their quiz was built, that question … you know, let’s say it had 100 points, you could give them an 87 and leave them some comments on what you liked about it and why they didn’t get an A, or whatever.
Ali: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Chris: And that’s what it’s all about.
Ali: Cool. So, you know Chris how, I don’t know if you go to Starbucks very often, but you know that Starbucks has like a secret menu that you can order off of?
Chris: I am aware of that, I actually get the … I’m the cheap guy. What do you call it, when you get like a small black with nothing in it. I think that’s on the cheap menu.
Ali: Yeah, so I love the secret menu at Starbucks, and I heard a rumor that there is, kinda like the secret menu at Starbucks, a secret feature in our new quiz builder. So I was wondering if you could like confirm or deny that rumor and tell us about it.
Chris: I can confirm that rumor. So what the secret feature is, is … and the way I like to frame it in is, LifterLMS is, you can use it for an online course, a membership site, a Learning Management System, and if you start looking in our advanced add-ons, private areas allows you to not just do course, it allows you to do coaching.
Social learning allows you not just to offer courses, plus possibly coaching, but also community. And what happens is, the needs of a coach as an example, or a community builder, they may have some course content and whether they do graded quizzes or not, they may wanna just check the pulse on how things are going.
So they may have like we were talking about, an essay or a short answered question where they’re trying to collect feedback, but it doesn’t necessarily count against the grade. But it is … So we call this feature, assessments. So it’s basically, you get … you design a question either within the context of a bigger quiz, or on its own, that you use for a reason outside of the grading system.
So the quiz … quizzes have a lot of different question types, especially with advances quizzes. For example, on a scale of on to ten, this is called a likert scale, in the advanced quizzes you have a scale question type. You may just ask at the very end of the course or as the last question on a final exam, on a scale of one to ten, how … would you recommend this course to a friend? Or what was your experience like? And you’re just collecting data, but it doesn’t really count against the grade, or you might ask for a testimonial or you might ask your coaching clients how they’re feeling about whatever you’re trying to help them with.
Ali: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Chris: So we call that assessments and that’s the secret feature.
Ali: Cool. Can you just do a little bit of a deeper dive into the question types that come with advanced quizzes, because we kind of glazed over that in the beginning, but I wanna make sure that people understand what comes with the free plug-in and what comes with advanced quizzes.
Chris: Sure, and maybe pull up the blog post just in case I miss one, because I’m doing this all from memory. So in the free plug-in, you have the multiple choice, and then you have true/false, and then you have picture choice. In advanced quizzed, you have short answer, you have long answer, you have fill in the blank, which can be by the way, automatically graded or not. Like if you’re opened to having those blanks be … if you don’t put the answer in the system then it’ll know it needs to be graded.
Ali: Is that sensitive to capitalization?
Chris: I don’t believe it is, don’t believe so. It is also one of those things where we build it in the interface, where you can have like a long blank or a short blank.
Ali: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Chris: So if your question is, what is the abbreviation for, you know, New Hampshire? You could have short blank. If you wanted people to say something longer, you can define the length of that blank. So it’s actually a pretty cool, intuitive tool.
Ali: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Chris: We also have a question type called code. Like so, if you’re teaching any kind of programming where you have more of a raw, kind of text editor, you can submit request stuff from.
We also have something called upload, which is very powerful. And people could be uploading images, documents, PDFs, small audio files, spreadsheets, all kinds of stuff, so that’s the upload question type.
We mentioned before the scale, so you can have a likert scale, it’s called. It could be one to three, it could be one to ten, it could be one to one hundred. That’s a question type.
And then we also have a reorder pictures. So if you’re … We have reorder pictures and reorder items. So, it’s just what it sounds like. You could have like a picture of a butterfly and all the different stages and have the student put the caterpillar, and then the cocoon, and then the butterfly in the right order, or you could do it with words. Like if it’s like a process that’s supposed to happen in a certain order.
So those are the ones that come to me, did I miss any?
Ali: Just the one that’s in development, which is matching.
Chris: Yeah, so matching’s in development, and I believe we’re doing that for both text and image matching, so, I don’t know. I have kids, they draw a line from the word car to the picture of the car. Something kinda like that. That’s kinda what matching’s all about, it’s all about association, and that’s coming soon.
Ali: Yeah. You did a good job, I give you an A+.
Chris: Thank you.
Ali: You’re welcome. So any last thoughts on advances quizzes or the types of educational entrepreneurs that might wanna consider trying it out, because we do have 30 day money back guarantee. So you know, anybody can purchase the advance quizzes plug-in and try it out.
We also have our 30 day demo sites too, that have advanced quizzes installed. But any particular type of instructor or course that you think this might be geared towards?
Chris: Well not everybody want’s to do manual grading, a lot of people wanna keep things passive, and that’s fine. I would say where the big opportunity is, and where I see some course creators that are doing the best financially is, they’re creating certification programs. Even if it’s not like, something that’s officially sanctioned by some government body somewhere, although we have those too.
But if you’re gonna do like a certification program, it’s important to have like some kind of standard, where they have to get at least an 80% on the final exam or overall grade. That’s a big opportunity.
The other is just for people using the, just using the secret feature, the assessments we talked about. But really I would just encourage people to think about this concept, especially of the micro-quizzing, where if a learning path or a learning experience has certain milestones and prizes along the way, I call it the curse of knowledge, it had another name called, expertitis, where people forget, especially as the teacher, what it’s like to be a beginner. They’ve lost touch with beginners mind, it’s just sometimes it can be really challenging to remember what it’s like when, if you’re teaching an entrepreneur course and you’re trying to get somebody to grasp the concept of a minimum viable product, you may need to … If you put a quiz on that concept, on that lesson about the minimum viable product, that could be very helpful.
So yeah, if we just focus on what are the core building blocked of your learning experience, there might me a quiz opportunity there that you’re not leveraging.
Ali: Awesome. So if someone wants to check out advanced quizzes, what do they do next?
Chris: The best thing to do is to go to the LifterLMS website, you can see advanced quizzes in the store. It’s part of the infinity bundle. You can upgrade into the infinity bundle if you have another product, you know, advanced quizzes might be that one thing to be like, yeah, I may wanna upgrade now and just go ahead and get all the benefits of the infinity bundle.
By the way, when you upgrade, you get the status of your existing license prorated. Like Ali mentioned, we also have the 30 day demo site, where you can try our premium tools before you buy. And like Ali also mentioned, we do have, on our add-ons, a 30 day money back guarantee.
So if you just wanna try it out, you’re not 100% … if you’re not 100% happy with it, you can always get your money back if you want to. But yeah, there’s lots of different ways to try it. That’s what I’d recommend.
Ali: Thanks Chris.
Chris: Yeah, well thank you Ali for coming on the show and having a round table with me about quizzes and the advanced quizzes add-on.
Ali: Any time.
Chris: You can find us both at LifterLMS.com, and thank you so much for listening, and we wish you all the best in building your courses and getting those results for your learners. Have a great day.