Mark hedging & confidence levels in Team-Based Learning

Chelsea Bullock
3 min readMar 15, 2021

Mark hedging questions are essentially MCQ question (Single best answer questions). The main difference is that when the question is rendered to the students, in the MCQ case, students are to select one single answer. Whereas for Mark hedging questions, students can split or distribute the marks across the available answers.

Photo by Kaysha on Unsplash

In the traditional MCQ, students in the iRAT are to select only one possible answer:

Typical MCQ question rendered to students during iRAT

With Mark hedging questions, students are able to distribute the available marks between the available answers -in this way “hedging” with their marks.

Mark hedging question type

While some might argue that point/marks spreading across answers might be confidence testing, hedging or betting marks is technically not confidence based learning.

What’s the difference between confidence levels and mark hedging?

Confidence levels

Note that confidence levels are based on confidence based learning -which allows students to select an answer and then say how confidence they are on their chosen option.

When you enable confidence levels for iRAT, then the students will see an additional slider after each MCQ question where they can specify how confident they are of the option selected (there’s different types of confidence rubrics you can use).

Note that this confidence selection has no bearing in the student’s mark though. So it will not affect the score regardless whether the answer you have selected is correct or not.

However, confidence levels play an important role in the tRAT as each student’ answer selection is displayed when the team is set to discuss a question

Confidence levels view in the tRAT

As each tRAT question is rendered, each student’ choice and confidence level is shown to the whole group. This facilitates the discussion among team members and speeds up discussion and team’s answer selection significantly (there’s a research paper on this).

Mark hedging

However, if what you need is the ability for the students to spread their marks across multiple answers, then you are after Mark hedging questions.

Mark hedging and Confidence levels together

If you use mark hedging questions but want to show the split selection for each student in the tRAT, you can use two together.

When you enable confidence levels in the tRAT and you are using mark hedging questions, then students will be able to see their split choices when reviewing the tRAT questions.

This brings the best of both options: mark hedging to allow students to spread marks across possible answers and then display their split selection in the tRAT as confidence in each option.

tRAT with mark hedging distribution



Chelsea Bullock

I’m a Communication Manager and Outreach Officer at LAMS (Learning Designer App).