Multiple choice test

MC test
MC test

An interesting text from Twitter Jeroen Bottema:
I don’t need to tell you, but the United States is one of the most tested countries in the world, and the weapon of choice is the multiple-choice test. While many scorn them because they don’t allow an opportunity for learning, multiple-choice tests have become a staple in the U.S. — from college admissions to the popular television program Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Multiple-choice questions are an accepted institution. Yet we know little about where they come from. When researching materials for my book, Save Our Science, I stumbled across their not-so-nice origins.
Testing Testing 1-2-3

Most of us have experienced a multiple-choice test. <a href=" More …


3 thoughts on “Multiple choice test

  1. Hi Jaap, just reading about multiple choice testing and it seems to be an artifact of multicultural classrooms where things familiar to one culture may be unknown to another. Such as asking someone who’s never played the game to pick the proper device for moving the ball in croquet. Fairness means testing only what has been covered in class, which is fine yet it limits learning evidence to only that which is taught, leading I’d think to the assumption that learning outside the class is somehow illegitimate? My speculation anyway.

    Have you read ‘Assessment: a Teacher’s Guide to the Issues’ by Gibbs and Stobart? Gibbs has also published ‘Beyond Assessment’ and both books are very useful. Testing is an interesting subject.

  2. Hi Scott, Had to think a few days about your reply.
    Learning outside the class, or learning different things in class could be very well possible.
    In MC-tests we will never be able to measure what a student did learn. With MC-tests teachers only try to measure if the student did learn what the school wanted this student to learn. If the student did learn other important lessons teachers will never know, if they use these MC-tests.
    I did not yet read these books, will give them a try.

  3. Hi Jaap, we had students in certificate programs in power engineering who are only tested by MC to receive their license. My understanding is the power engineering courses are intended to teach the trade but really the class is about remembering answers which could conceivably be any answers so I’m not sure if we can call this learning. Maybe we can move to Brazil for the winter and “teach” power engineering to parrots?

    It may also be that trades share similarities with professions like nursing and the learning is based on practice in the field and school just sort for people who aren’t suited? Like a filter.

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