Quiz - create an all-or-nothing multiple choice question

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In an all-or-nothing multiple choice question (MCQ), the answers chosen by a student must correspond exactly to the correct answers defined in the question. If this occurs a student gets 100%. If there are any incorrect answers or not all correct answers are selected, the grade will be 0%.

Create an all-or-nothing MCQ

  1. Open the quiz and either:
    • Edit the quiz, click on an Add link on the right side of the page, and select + a new question.
    • Open the question bank and click on the Create a new question button

  2. Select Multiple choice and click Add   

  3. Give the question a category

  4. Give the question a name (this will only be shown to teachers) (required field)

  5. Fill in the question text (required field)

  6. Give the question a default mark (required field)

  7. Enter some general question feedback
    multiple choice - enter category, question name, question text, default mark

  8. Select whether you want to shuffle the question answers

  9. Under Answers, fill in the choices. For all the correct answers, tick the checkbox Correct.

  10. Click Save settings

Tips for creating an all-or-nothing MCQ

Bloom's level/s of taxonomy, what the item is testing (descriptor), and distracter plausibility:

Question number x Correct answer (key)
Learning objective  
Bloom's level of taxonomy  
Descriptor What the item is testing
Distracter plausibility A....
Question tips

Difference from standard Multiple choice questions (MCQ)

The main difference from the standard MCQ is in the way that grading works. In a standard multiple-choice question with multiple correct answers, a negative mark must be given to the incorrect answers to be able to make the grade 0%, however students can still get a partial grade if not all correct answers are selected.

For example, if we have a question with two right and two wrong answers:

  • In the standard MCQ we need to award each of the two right answers 50% of the mark, then award each wrong answer -100%. If the student selects an incorrect answer, the grade will be 0%, but if only one right answer is selected, the grade will be 50%.
  • In the All-or-nothing MCQ, if the student selects an incorrect answer, the grade will be 0%, but if they select only one right answer, the grade will also be 0%.

One answer only MCQ

It is not advisable to use the All-or-nothing MCQ for questions that explicitly ask for one answer. The standard MCQ should be used if there is only one answer or if partial grades are allowed.

Import questions

The All-or-nothing questions must be manually created. It can not be imported from another file.

References and resources
  • The Centre for University Teaching ran two workshops in 2013 with invited speakers from the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER):
    MacKinnon, Philip, MCQ assessment workshop 24 June 2013
    Khoo, Siek Toon, Introduction to measurement concepts and assessment in education
    "Bloom" search results (eLearning literature and resources collection)

Bloom's taxonomy explained

SOLO taxonomy explained

» How-to glossary