Our doubts are traitors,
And make us lose the good we oft might win
By fearing to attempt.
Shakespeare, Measure for Measure
Since taking the plunge and adding multiple-choice questions to my assessment repertoire, I’ve found they have refreshing and unexpected advantages.
They make assessment more reliable, marking less labour-intensive, pupil understanding and misconceptions more visible, and allow a wider breadth of knowledge to be assessed across a unit than just using essays or complex, holistic end-of-unit assessments. They save countless hours of marking downstream, and get pupils thinking deeply about subject content.
Research from Little, Bjork, Bjork and Angello (that Alex cites) suggests not only that they are as effective as short-answer tests for retention, but they also have an important advantage over…
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