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ERIC Number: EJ987388
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 15
ISSN: ISSN-1062-7197
Estimating the Effect on Grades of Using Multiple-Choice versus Constructive-Response Questions: Data from the Classroom
Hickson, Stephen; Reed, W. Robert; Sander, Nicholas
Educational Assessment, v17 n4 p200-213 2012
This study investigates the degree to which grades based solely on constructed-response (CR) questions differ from grades based solely on multiple-choice (MC) questions. If CR questions are to justify their higher costs, they should produce different grade outcomes than MC questions. We use a data set composed of thousands of observations on individual students in introductory economics classes at a large public university. We note that the instructors of these classes made conscientious efforts to write CR questions that assessed higher levels of learning (Bloom, 1956). Despite this, we find relatively little difference in grade outcomes. Our analysis suggests that switching from an all-CR assessment to an all-MC assessment would produce grade variations that are similar to the differences that are observed for students across different tests. Although other studies have focused on test scores, frequently AP test scores, our study is the first to focus attention on university grades. We hope that our inability to identify substantial benefits to CR questions in terms of grades will stimulate further research to identify substantive benefits from using the more costly CR questions. (Contains 3 tables and 3 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand