Meerkeuzevragen, handig om te verbeteren, maar vaak een pak complexer om degelijk op te stellen. Andrew Butler verzamelde in een recent artikel zes belangrijke tips voor bij het opstellen die het leren tijdens de test ook kunnen helpen. BPS Digest vatte de aanbevelingen als volgt samen:
- Avoid using complex questions or answer formats. When things are too complex, it leads to misunderstandings and students guessing the answer. By keeping the format simple, it makes it a more reliable assessment of what the students do or don’t know.
- Create questions that focus on specific parts of knowledge or thought processes that you want to assess. For example, questions could focus on retrieval of a specific fact, contrasting two concepts, or applying a theory to a new situation.
- Avoid using “None of the Above” and/or “All of the above” as potential answers. The main issue with “None of the Above” is that if it is the correct answer, then the test-taker has been exposed to numerous false answers. This therefore represents a missed opportunity to reinforce what the correct answer was. “All of the Above” may be helpful when it is the correct answer because, as Butler explains, “the test taker is only exposed to the correct information”, but may do more harm than good if it is the incorrect answer because of exposure to false answers.
- Be economical with the number of answer options. The topic will have a bearing on the optimal number to offer, but three potential answers usually provides enough difficulty whilst also being time efficient. Excessive potential answers may be problematic if the main aim is to enhance learning, as it will “expose test takers to a lot of incorrect information, [which] is worrisome because they could potentially learn it”.
- Ensure the answer choice is “moderately difficult”. If it is too easy or too hard then little will be learnt. Butler states that “the ideal difficulty level is a bit higher than the midpoint between chance and perfect performance”.
- Ensure you provide feedback on the correct answers. When giving feedback to students, Butler notes that “one important caveat is that the effectiveness of feedback depends upon students being motivated to process it and their motivation tends to decrease over time”. Therefore, if feedback is delayed, it would be wise to take steps to ensure that students are “required or incentivized to process it”.