How to Write a Successful Workplace Safety Quiz

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How to Write a Successful Workplace Safety Quiz 

You've gone through your carefully prepped slides, engaged your employees, emphasized only the most important stats and otherwise given an Oscar-worthy safety presentation. But the real test comes next. That's when you find out whether anything you said stuck with your employees or whether all they heard was Charlie Brown's teacher: wah wah wah wah. The workplace safety quiz is an excellent way to measure your safety presentation's success. To make sure your questions are giving you helpful information, consider these tips from teachers and quiz writers.

Know Your Goals

In the education world, these are called learning objectives. Before you write a single question, you need to outline exactly which information is the most important. For example, certain workplace safety rules may be more important than others. Depending on your industry, employee safety might be better served by focusing on specific safe work practices. Hand tool safety, for instance, might be paramount to your work environment while falls are rare in your facility.

See if you can divide your learning objectives into Tier 1 (must know), Tier 2 (should know) and Tier 3 (bonus information). This will focus your quiz so you can assign an appropriate number of questions to the concepts in each tier.

Workplace Safety Questions and Answers: Find Some Inspiration

Even if you've got a decent list of questions, a quick glance at other workplace safety quizzes can inspire you to approach your subject with fresh eyes. There are plenty of quizzes available. Look for complex situational questions and good quizzes that follow solid evaluation standards. Look at a few not-so-good quizzes as well to be sure you understand what not to do. A quick search for "workplace safety quiz" will provide some good background.

Avoid Trick Questions

Remember that your goal is to understand and evaluate what your staff knows about employee safety. To that end, use clear and simple language, and don't use trick questions. If your questions confuse your employees, you won't get a clear understanding of what they know, which wastes your time and theirs.

One of the hardest parts of writing a solid quiz is to create what are called plausible distracters. These are wrong answers on a multiple choice question (hence 'distracters'). If you make them too obvious, you're allowing employees to guess the answer (and probably forget the information in the long run). Your distracters should be plausible, that is, they should be something that someone could reasonably mistake for the right answer if he or she didn't really understand the concept. This will give you the best idea of how well you're teaching.

Avoid True and False Questions

True and false questions are fine for pub quizzes and party games, but they don't really evaluate knowledge in an educational setting. Even when your employees get their answers correct, they had a 50 percent chance of guessing right. There's no way to tell whether they truly understand the material or they're excellent guessers. And workplace safety is one area where you don't want to encourage guessing.

Randomize it!

We love to create patterns, even unconsciously, and patterns are easier to guess. That's why you should randomize the questions you use. This means using a random order of questions, or pulling randomly from a larger pool of questions. Each quiz taker's quiz should look different, and if the same person takes the quiz more than once, it should look different each time. This reduces the chance of people guessing or memorizing answers in a non-helpful way. Remembering that Question Three's answer was b) won't help anyone understand safe work practices.

You may also tend to place the correct answer in the same place without realizing it. Randomizing the placement of correct answers will correct for any unconscious bias like this.

Of course, all of this is easier when your quiz is computer-generated. There are a number of quiz-making services on the internet, such as Quiz Works, Survey Monkey, and Quiz Maker. Some features are free and some require a subscription, so investigate and choose the best fit for your company.

Evaluate Safety Quizzes Effectively

Evaluation is the most important step for you, the quiz master, in the whole process. Useful evaluations give you a true picture of what your students understand. Statistical analysis of answers is the best way to evaluate your own teaching. If 70 percent of your employees consistently give wrong answers about hand tool safety, then either your question is confusing, or you need to rethink your teaching method on that concept.

Because this information is so useful, look closely at any potential online quiz service's evaluation and statistical features. Teaching workplace safety concepts effectively may take some trial and error on your part (you're learning too!). Think about what kind of information will be most useful to you as you adjust your safety presentations and quizzes over time.

Feedback to Students

Every wrong answer is an opportunity to learn. Make sure that your students get the chance to see an explanation of the misunderstood concept. Depending on how you set up the quiz, this feedback can be immediate or provided as a post-mortem of the test. Immediate feedback is more likely to sink in, especially if you require repeat tests until the employee achieves a specific grade. In this way, the testing process becomes part of the learning.

Do you have any tips or tricks for successful workplace safety quizzes? Leave them in the comments!

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Topics: Safety Training, Safety Culture

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