Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Re: Multiple Choice Exam Questions #2

Some blog followers might be interested in a post of the above title. The abstract reads:


ABSTRACT: Karol Dean of the POD list asked: "Is there any research or folklore to support the 1 question/minute formula [for multiple-choice questions] that I've heard?"

To which Ken Bain replied: ". . . . . multiple-choice questions that simply require the regurgitation of isolated information, or worse yet, the ability to recognize correct answers . . . tend to foster surface or strategic rather than deep approaches to learning. . . . .THIS DOESN'T MEAN THAT YOU CANNOT DEVELOP MULTIPLE-CHOICE EXAMINATIONS THAT CAN FOSTER DEEP APPROACHES. Look, for example, at the way Eric Mazur develops what are basically multiple-choice questions for his Peer Learning approach. But that approach is embedded in an environment designed to promote deep considerations. . . . . . To understand and appreciate Mazur's approach, you must understand both the way he develops the questions and how he uses them. Once you understand that (and both the need to promote deep approaches to learning and the research on what fosters deep approaches), I think you will quickly see that requiring students to answer multiple choice questions in less than a minute each (130 questions in 90 minutes) will foster the most shallow of approaches to learning, and cannot possibly foster deep approaches."

In this post I:

(a) quote psychometricians Mark Wilson and Meryl Bertenthal in support of Bain's claim that "multiple-choice examinations that can foster deep approaches," and

(b) elaborate on the physics education environment in which Mazur came to desert the traditional passive student lecture for an "Interactive Engagement" method.


To access the complete 28 kB post, please click on http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Net-Gold/message/32417 .


Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University

24245 Hatteras Street, Woodland Hills, CA 91367

Honorary Member, Curmudgeon Lodge of Deventer, The Netherlands

President, PEdants for Definitive Academic References (PEDAR)






REFERENCES [Tiny URL's courtesy http://tinyurl.com/create.php .]

Hake, R.R. 2010. "Re: Multiple Choice Exam Questions #2," online on the OPEN! Net-Gold archives at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Net-Gold/message/32417. Post of 6 April 2010 17:57:00-0700 to AERA-L and Net-Gold.

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