How to make good questions

The SETC Quick Start Guide: Developing Good Questions provides an overview of how to create question sets that can be meaningfully interpreted by SETC report viewers (a guide for instructors on how to make good questions is also available). This guide can help new Faculties and evaluating units who are creating SETC questions for the first time and can also be used by current SETC units doing question review. 

The guide contains examples and recommendations in three areas:

  1. Statement of use: At the end of the semester, your academic unit will get a report summarizing student responses to your questions. What will you use this report for? A clear statement of use will allow you to assess how well your questions are functioning to meet their purpose. 
  2. Develop questions with rationales and benchmarks: A good question consists of the question statement, a response scale, a rationale that is clearly connected to your statement of use, and a score benchmark that aligns with your academic unit’s teaching and learning goals.
  3. Student interpretation: SETC fundamentally depends on students for information. This sounds obvious, but students, even though their thought processes are integral to our program, are often not asked if questions make sense to them or are relevant to their experience. To know if you’re measuring what you intend to with your SETC questions, it is vital to understand the student response process (to learn more about this term, see Step 3 in the SETC Quick Start Guide).