Drag-and-drop question

Drag-and-drop question in digital assessment: what are they and how to use them?

There are many options within digital assessment when it comes to question types. One example is the drag-and-drop question. What exactly is this question? What are the advantages and disadvantages and what are tips on how to use this question type within tests and exams? Read on!

What is a drag-and-drop question?

A drag-and-drop question is a closed digital question type that requires the candidate to “drag” answer options into the correct order. This question type requires the candidate to be familiar with the sequence of events, steps in a process or how certain elements are connected.

The question type is thus an interactive and visual way to test knowledge. The drag-and-drop question tests not only the candidate’s content knowledge, but also their ability to organize the information in a logical way and determine the correct order. These components make it a question you can use well in both formative assessment and summative assessment.

Example and score distribution of a drag-and-drop question

Example: Below the correct historical event to the correct dates.

  1. First man on the moon
  2. First man in space
  3. Landing of the first robot on Mars

Answer options: There are three answer options for this question, named 1961, 1969 and 1971. The candidate drags the correct event to the correct year.

Point count

The point count of the drag-and-drop question can vary. For example, you can choose to award points only if all questions are answered correctly. Or you work with partial points if not all answers are ranked correctly.

Advantages of a drag-and-drop question

There are a number of advantages that the drag-and-drop question has in terms of digital assessment:

  • Interactive and more challenging: Drag-and-drop questions are more interactive than traditional multiple-choice questions. This makes for a better test-taking experience for the candidate
  • Demonstrates depth of knowledge: By asking the participant to drag and arrange objects, the test can provide a better picture of how deep the participant’s knowledge is.
  • Flexible testing: Drag-and-drop questions are flexible in their design and can be used in many different ways. For example, you can use them to tie different parts of the lesson together in a question.
  • Fluid assessment: Digital assessment software allows you to assign points directly to the candidate’s performance.

Disadvantages of a drag-and-drop question

There are, of course, some disadvantages to using a drag-and-drop question in an exam. Some of the disadvantages are as follows:

  • Complexity: Because of its ability to organize information and sequence, drag-and-drop questions can be complex for some candidates. Keep this in mind when choosing the test question!
  • Technical problems: Technical problems can occur while using drag-and-drop questions. Think of (accessibility) problems with the screen or resolution. Therefore, choose the correct assessment software.
  • Time pressure: A drag-and-drop question requires a quick and precise answer during the exam. After all, the right elements must be dragged to the right place. This can add extra pressure for candidates who do not like to perform under time pressure.

Tips for preparing a drag-and-drop question

  • Clear answer options: Provide clear answer options with a limited number of steps or elements.
  • Not too complex: Take into account the level of candidates and do not make the question too difficult and invasive.
  • Keep in mind skills: Not every exam candidate is equally developed in terms of digital skills. Therefore, give clear instructions on how to answer the drag-and-drop question.

Conclusion: the drag-and-drop question in digital assessments

Drag-and-drop questions are an effective way to test candidates by organizing information logically and sequencing appropriately. The question type is flexible, visually appealing and easily assessed (automatically) by assessment software. However, always be keen on the quality criteria of exam questions. Want more information about digital assessment? Our testing experts are ready for you!

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