How Can I Make My Multiple Choice Tests More Effective?
Learn how to make your multiple choice tests more effective by creating a test blueprint and formulating test questions that go beyond memorization to evaluate thinking skills. Testing is more than a responsibility for faculty members. It’s an opportunity to assess the progress you and your students have made toward your learning objectives. Multiple choice tests aren't about playing the odds—instead, they can help you make the most of your chances to connect with students.
Go beyond memorization to evaluation with your test questions
Multiple choice tests don’t get much respect.
Maybe it’s because they’re associated with memorization, old-fashioned standardized tests, and other situations in which the answer is likely to be “C.”
Yet multiple choice tests can be a vital addition to your testing tool box. Used properly, they can help you create tests that:
- Are more fair to students
- Give you and your students useful feedback on teaching and learning
- Test thinking skills more efficiently than do some essay tests
Learn more with How Can I Make My Multiple Choice Tests More Effective?, a Magna 20-Minute Mentor taught by Linda Suskie, an expert on assessments.
The author of Assessing Student Learning: A Common Sense Guide, one of the best-selling books on higher education assessment, Suskie is an internationally recognized consultant, speaker, writer, and workshop facilitator on higher education.
Suskie demonstrates how multiple choice tests can be used effectively to measure the different types of learning that higher education requires, from memorized knowledge to conceptual understanding to thinking skills.
Testing is more than a responsibility for faculty members. It’s an opportunity to assess the progress you and your students have made toward your learning objectives.
Today’s multiple choice tests aren’t about playing the odds—instead, they can help you make the most of your chances to connect with students.
Devote 20 minutes of your time to How Can I Make My Multiple Choice Tests More Effective?,and you’ll come away with insights and techniques you can use in your courses for years. Suskie will show you how to address two basic issues involving the writing of effective test questions:
- Removing barriers for students who should be able to answer correctly
- Removing clues for students who should not be able to answer correctly
Suskie shows you how to develop a test blueprint to organize your assessment process, and will address the following:
- Focusing your tests
- Balancing the kinds of knowledge your test examines
- Using the test blueprint to prepare students
You also learn practical, brass-tacks tips to help you write effective tests, such as the best length for options and when it’s appropriate to use negative items.
After viewing in this Magna 20-Minute Mentor, you’ll be able to:
- Construct a test blueprint
- Formulate test questions that go beyond memorization to evaluate thinking skills
If you think essay tests are the only way to assess higher levels of critical thinking, How Can I Make My Multiple Choice Tests More Effective? is for you.
The supplemental materials accompanying this Magna 20-Minute Mentor include two pages of examples of multiple choice questions used in undergraduate and graduate courses.
Included are general concepts to help you shape your assessments as you build your career, including:
- The best ways to use interpretive exercises
- The importance of the imperfect match
- The key factor influencing student learning
Crafting effective assessments is essential for teaching professors at all stages of their careers. Order today!
Product Code: PM13RA
Linda Suskie has served as a Vice President at the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, an accreditor of colleges and universities in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States for seven years. She is now working as a consultant and workshop facilitator for colleges and universities.
The second edition of her book, Assessing Student Learning: A Common Sense Guide (Jossey-Bass), is one of the best-selling books on assessment in higher education.
Prior positions include serving as Associate Vice President for Assessment & Institutional Research at Towson University and as Director of the American Association for Higher Education's Assessment Forum.
Her over 35 years of experience in college and university administration include work in assessment, institutional research, strategic planning, and quality management.
Linda holds a B.A. in Quantitative Studies from Johns Hopkins University and an M.A. in Educational Measurement and Statistics from the University of Iowa.
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