ERIC Number: EJ1075062
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Making the Most of Multiple Choice
Brookhart, Susan M.
Educational Leadership, v73 n1 p36-39 Sep 2015
Multiple-choice questions draw criticism because many people perceive they test only recall or atomistic, surface-level objectives and do not require students to think. Although this can be the case, it does not have to be that way. Susan M. Brookhart suggests that multiple-choice questions are a useful part of any teacher's questioning repertoire because they do not require extensive written or spoken answers and teachers can ask and students can answer a lot more multiple-choice questions than open-ended questions in a given period of time. Some of the most useful multiple-choice questions for assessing higher-order thinking require students to answer questions about a piece of content that is included with the question. Brookhart discusses three types of such context-dependent questions: Questions about a visual item, such as a chart, graph, or map. Questions about a text, story, or scenario, such as a primary source or a made-up story involving content. Questions about the work of a fictional student, in which answerers must determine whether the fictional student's answer is correct. Teachers can use questions like this on tests, but also for formative assessment. Student-response systems involving clickers or hand signals can help the teacher determine how many students understand the material. Asking students to explain their answers to multiple-choice questions will give students the opportunity to practice their metacognitive skills.
Descriptors: Multiple Choice Tests, Educational Practices, Questioning Techniques, Test Reliability, Test Validity, Instructional Materials, Instructional Material Evaluation, Classroom Techniques, Teaching Methods
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
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