Multiple Choice Workshop 2006 (Manual by Marilyn Robinson)

Introduction
Multiple-choice examinations have been much maligned by both faculty and students. Faculty complain that MCQ only test the recognition of information at the knowledge level and students complain that MCQ are picky and ambiguous.

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What is a Multiple Choice Question?
A MCQ consists of a problem and a list of alternative solutions. The problem may be stated in the form of a direct question or incomplete statement called the Stem of the question. The student is requested to read the stem and alternative solutions and choose the one that is correct or best. This alternative is called the Answer. Depending on the format of the MCQ, there may be more than one answer. The other (incorrect) alternatives are called Distracters.
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Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives
It is a simple task to write MCQ which test at the knowledge and comprehension levels but well designed MCQ can test the higher levels of learn­ing as well.
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Multiple-choice Question Formats
There are many different formats of MCQs. Some are especially well suited for certain types of content. Some are particularly good for testing higher-order learning. Some are inherently ‘easier' or ‘more difficult' than others. Four basic types will be described here with notes about their specific uses and advantages.

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Assembling the Multiple-Choice Examination
A few recommendations about assembling the examination.
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Post-Examination Analysis
Multiple-choice examinations are typically marked by computer (example: MARKEX Program). This means that other types of computed data about your examination are also readily available (see attached example). Two important pieces of information are ‘item difficulty' and ‘point biserial'.

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