Including Images in a Test

In the process of authoring your paper based or on-screen assessments, it may be beneficial to the student to supplement each question, or each set of related questions with an image.

The benefits of this are: 

  • Images act as a divider between different sets of questions
  • They keep the students engaged with the test and allow the subject matter to be more relatable
  • They can give a test question a deeper context more quickly than a question with text alone, which is beneficial to students undertaking assessments with a time limit.

It can be easy to fall into the trap of using an image which does not have any relation to the question or to avoid using images altogether in order to save time, however try not to allow this to be the case. The use of an image correlates with the use of memory aids in a formative or summative assessment and can support and strengthen a question used as a memory aid.  When you are writing a question as a memory aid then you would include some situational context and often characters with names and purposes. The use of an image also serves as a memory aid and can support and strengthen a question written as a memory aid.

Images are a versatile media when used in tests as they are the only type of media that can be used in both paper and on-screen tests without external equipment. Therefore it is beneficial to utilise them to their full potential.

Remember: If you are using images in your test make sure that you are not in breach of any copyright restrictions; you may have access to stock images from a provider or the means to create your own. Do not take the images directly from an internet search with no knowledge of the permissions.

Note: The purpose of these articles is to provide you with general advice in the fields of assessment and testing. These articles are not intended to replace any regulations or instructions provided by your organisation, but may be used in conjunction with these materials to support the assessment process.

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