Focus learners’ energy on the material, not interpreting your Activity. This is especially true for situations when an answer is mostly, but not always, true.
Which of the following true/false statements is clearer?
Reward employees who reach their goals.
Don’t make your learners devote cognitive resources toward understanding what is being asked.
Another way to avoid ambiguity is to ensure each Activity covers a single idea.
For example, let’s look at the following true/false statement:
Employees are added to the payroll as soon as they are hired and will receive benefits three months after their first day of work.
It is more effective to break this in to two statements, that each cover one idea:
Employees are added to the payroll as soon as they are hired.
Employees will receive benefits three months after their first day of work.
Try to avoid using ambiguous words such as “usually,” “sometimes,” and “possibly,” unless something is actually ambiguous.
For example, the word “usually” makes the following true/false statement confusing:
As a full-time employee, you are usually expected to work 40 hours per week.
This makes learners wonder, do full-time employees sometimes work more or fewer hours? Why do the hours vary? How often do they vary? In this case, it would be better to write: “As a full time employee, you are expected to work a minimum of 40 hours per week.”
Alternatively, the ambiguous phrase “may be” is necessary in the following question, because employees are sometimes — but not always — scheduled for extra shifts:
During the holiday season, you may be scheduled for extra shifts.