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How do you write good course questions?

One of the reasons online courses are so effective, and way better than just posting a video to YouTube, is that you can ask followup questions. Those questions make a huge difference in information retention, engagement, and enjoyability.

When you ask followup questions, you’re forcing your audience to process the information in a new way. That processing helps to store new information in long term memory.

Internalizing new information also helps to apply it to realworld situations, making the new information more practical and useful down the road.

Not all questions are created equal. Crafting good questions should start with a goal in mind and use relevant language.

If your goal is to verify that your team watched a training video, then ask for them to parrot specific information back to you from the video. For example, “Name 2 of the 5 things Greeters should do on a Sunday morning.”

If your goal is to help your team remember something specific, ask them to apply it to a real world situation. For example, “In the video, I talked about having a positive attitude as a Greeter. How can your positive attitude help shape a visitors experience?”

Bad questions can derail a team member’s experience and cause them to not retain information. For example, “The video discussed welcoming language that Greeters can use. Tell me about your family life.” First, this question is off topic and confusing. Second, it’s far too open-ended.

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