I am trying to improve my skills in writing effective multiple choice test questions. It seems an area that takes a fair amount of time and effort to learn how to do well! I have researched and read a great deal of information which is helpful, but I am wondering if anyone from the group has advice, helpful hints or suggestions on writing test questions.
posted by Susan Demoya
Derek Young said: Writing good test questions is not easy, and I find is often overlooked. It's easy to end up with ineffective multiple choice questions due to the difficulty in coming up with enough plausible answers. This results in the correct answer being so obvious, that the question is not a valid evaluation. To overcome this it's essential to be familiar enough with the subject matter so you can find plausible alternate answers. Obviously, the test questions are based on the objectives. So one thing I try and do when creating objectives is to word them so they can become test questions with the minimum of modification.
Elizabeth Rogers said: When you first start working with the SMEs and you are learning the topics well enough to put together your design, jot down the mistakes you make or misunderstandings you have. These notes can later help you come up with plausible incorrect answers for your multiple choice questions.
Lisa Zembal said: Hi Susan. One more thought. "Close-in, Non-Examples." That phrase should drive your test questions. I don't even like the term "distractor." Each option should be close to the correct answer, with small shifts/changes in key variables.Also remember Sequencing as a multiple-choice option. "Number the steps in order.." OR Name the missing step (A.B.C.D.) It's good to remember that if criterion-referenced tests are written well, and written to the learning objectives, they do more than assess mastery of content. Good test questions help us as designers determine which objectives are being taught well and which need work!
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