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A short guide to write good learning reinforcement questions

Louise Michel |

Learning reinforcement takes place after a learning path to support the learner in consolidating what he or she has learned.

In 1885, the work of Hermann Ebbinghaus, an experimental psychologist, highlighted the hypothesis of the forgetting curve, telling us that information is lost over time when the brain does not try to retain it. Cognitive science has shown that the most effective methods for promoting long-term memory are:

  • Spacing out revisions with increasingly long intervals of time
  • Answering questions rather than consulting lessons or videos
  • Mixing different subjects in the same revision session

Learning reinforcement tools use this knowledge to provide reminders in the form of questions, spread out over time and related to the notion to be reinforced. Artificial intelligence can be used to personalize these reminders according to each person’s ability to memories: the learner will be asked more frequently about subjects he or she finds difficult to memorize, and vice versa.

In order to set up an Adaptive Learning reinforcement system within your organization, it is necessary to create reinforcement questions that will allow the employee to memorize the targeted notions over the long term.

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1. The specificities of a learning reinforcement question

A learning reinforcement question therefore requires a specific pedagogical engineering work, different from the creation of evaluation questions. Let us look in more detail at the specificities of a learning reinforcement question

When it comes into play

A learning reinforcement question comes after the formal learning, whether face-to-face or distance learning. A certain number of skills will have been covered during the learning and the reinforcement question verifies their acquisition and maintenance over time in the learner’s mind. 

Reinforcement is not evaluation

We are still in the training process because a large part of it is carried out through practice (70% according to the famous 70/20/10* model). Do not hesitate to break down the boundaries between training and the field thanks to reinforcement and to suggest training  resources following a response from the learner in order to explore a subject in greater depth.

2. Drafting tips

Tips for writing statements

Avoid words that are too categorical. When writing a question, words like “never” and “always” add ambiguity to the answer. You are then “never sure if it is always true”. 

Use simple sentences for question statements and avoid double negations, adding details to confuse the subject or using ambiguous vocabulary.

Avoid negative questions. Negative questions such as “Which of the following is NOT correct” are not relevant in terms of understanding and assessing knowledge. They may be misunderstood by respondents.

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The use of media for learning reinforcement

Learning reinforcement seeks to confront the employee with a problem in order to reactivate the target notions in his or her mind and work on maintaining them in the long term. It is therefore important to use several types of media in your questions in order to vary the type of situations you present to them.

  • Textual questions

The classic multiple choice textual question describes a problem and proposes several solutions to the learner. It calls on their imagination to project themselves into the proposed situation, conceptualize the problem and solve it.

You can make the textual question part of the learner’s everyday life by offering them client verbatims or by describing real situations.


“Hello, I have just had a car accident and I would like to know if my insurance will pay for towing it to the garage.” How do you respond to this customer?

A: You ask for his first and last name

B: You ask for his contract number

C: You redirect them to the VRADE service

  • Image

One of the specificities of visual content compared to textual content is its ability to evoke emotions in its audience. While a text will appeal to the rational and logical intelligence, an image tends to take the learner on an emotional path. The fact that the image is presented without intermediation and without calling on the imagination gives it a stronger impact. The information gained from the exercise will be better retained.

Exemple : 

Can I pass this vehicle?

A: Yes

B: No

  • The vidéo

The video describes a situation very precisely, both visually and audibly, leaving the learner in no doubt as to what the problem is. The situation is therefore total and immersive, which gives it a stronger impact.

  • The audio

Depending on the concept to be assessed, it may be interesting to offer the learner a purely auditory support. You get them to focus on the words of a customer or employee and to react to them.

The mobile

Would you like to improve the learning experience of your employees by using the Domoscio Lock mobile application? Below you will find some tips and tricks for creating reinforcement content adapted to mobile learning.

Tip 1: Manage the size of a mobile phone screen

Soyez coBe concise and create reinforcement questions, suggestions, and short feedbacks.

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Tip 2: To engage, vary the formats and pay attention to the specificities of mobile phones

  • Use a variety of question formats to engage and capture the attention of employees (MCQs, MCQs, fill-in-the-blank questions, matching, open-ended questions).
  • Pay attention to the layout of your content and play with the text editor of your authoring tool. For example, we advise you to structure your reinforcement questions using formatting elements (bold, italic, underlined, quote).
  • Keep in mind that mobile use is different from desktop use: make sure you don’t use heavy visuals, prefer media without sound when possible, and remember to subtitle your videos.

Tip 3: Adapt your communication

Today, 74% of working people use their mobile phones to access resources during their working day. The barriers between personal and professional life are becoming more difficult to overcome and the language and vocabulary used to write your reinforcement questions must be adapted to both situations. We advise you to use simple and informal language. Depending on the organization, it may be preferable to be on first-name terms.

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Tip 4: Don’t minimize the impact of feedback on your staff

Create personalized feedback to allow the learner to see their good and bad answers. The feedback will also allow the learner to continue learning about the concept in question, even during reinforcement.


Learner engagement with your learning programme will be key to its success. You can use several levers to maximize this:

Diversification of questions: 

Using a variety of question types, inserting several media (text questions, images, videos, etc.) will surprise the learner, hold their attention, and avoid the monotony of simple MCQs that follow one another.


Similarly, the possibility of giving feedback following the answers given by the learners has 3 interests:

  • To clearly indicate to the learner whether or not they have answered the question correctly.
  • It may recommend resources to be consulted if the learner wants to go further into the subject.
  • To congratulate the learner if he has answered correctly or to encourage him if he has not, and in all cases to encourage him to continue his efforts.