Writing effective scenario questions

Want to increase the quality of your assessment questions? Think stories!

Scenario-based evaluation questions help the learner to really think about the content, not just regurgitate facts or data. Check out this easy plan for constructing good scenario questions:

Hendrich’s ABCD Model for Constructing Effective Scenario Questions

·        Actor/Audience – Who is in the situation? Who is involved?

·        Behavior – What situation are they in? What are they trying to or unable to do?

·        Condition – Under what circumstances or context is the actor behaving or hoping to behave?

·        Dilemma/Decision – What decision must the actor make? What dilemma is s/he facing?

Examples of ABCD Question Stems

Below are some example questions which include Actor(s)/Audience (A), Behavior (B), Condition (C), and Dilemma/Decision(D). Note that the order of presentation of each component is not important.

  • Dr. Chang is considering prescribing a blood pressure medication for Jim, who has a comorbid liver disorder. What class of medications is Dr. Chang likely to choose?
  • Meryl stopped taking her antidepressant, because she did not like the sexual side effects. What class of medications was Meryl likely taking?
  • Ernesto has not found any success with two different SSRIs and is worried that he’ll never find relief.  What might Dr. Cerilski tell him?

Now it’s your turn…try writing an ABCD scenario question today!

Got leadership skills?

Leadership assessment resources

Carolyn Neblett, Senior HR Manager at Capital One, asks:
“Any thoughts for online assessments that would help with building stronger management skills?”

Susan’s response:
The Learning and Development Roundtable is a terrific resource for management skills training and development.

I’m also a big fan of the Lominger competencies (360 degree feedback). Lominger’s FYI book (For Your Improvement) is a strong and valuable resource with many examples and practical steps for improving management skills.

I highly recommend https://www.strengthsfinder.com/, which offers an online assessment as a complement to the classic “Now, Discover Your Strengths,” by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton.

For more ideas and inspiration…

Harvard Business Publishing has a great post from Bill Taylor, called “Memo to a Young Leader: What Kind of Boss Are You?”