Multiple Choice Workshop 2006 (Manual by Marilyn Robinson)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Assembling the Multiple-Choice Examination
- A few recommendations about assembling the examination.
- 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'.