ERIC Number: ED241117
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Feb-3
Reference Count: 0
The Great Essay/Multiple Choice Debate: Different Strokes for Different Folks.
Svinicki, Marilla; Koch, Bill
Innovation Abstracts, v6 n3 Feb 3 1984
The decision of whether to use essay tests or multiple choice tests depends on several qualifiers related to the different characteristics of the tests and the needs of the situation. The most important qualifier involves matching the type of test to the instructional objectives being tested, with multiple choice tests being used to measure a grasp of basic facts and essay tests being used to measure the ability to communicate facts concisely. Theoretical differences between the tests include: level of cognitive processing and memory required; testing time spent on thinking versus production; sensitivity to specific learning; level of cognitive complexity which is measured; confounded results caused by student ability in communication skills; and student preparation. Technical differences include range of course content which can be tested; test reliability; and capability of analyzing test items for improvement purposes. Two practical considerations are the time involved in producing, administering, and grading the test and the potential for cheating and guessing. It is important to consider using a variety of evaluation vehicles so that students who are stronger in one response type than another will have equal opportunities to perform well. (DC)
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: PF Project
Note: From the "Center for Teaching Effectiveness Newsletter," v5 n2 Nov 1983.