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Georgetown University. Center for New Designs in Learning & Scholarship and Office of Faculty and Academic Affairs Writing Multiple Choice Questions. Aviad Haramati, PhD Peggy A. Weissinger, EdD Georgetown University School of Medicine. Congruence!. Objectives. Activities. Assessment.

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Georgetown University

Center for New Designs in Learning & Scholarship and Office of Faculty and Academic AffairsWriting Multiple Choice Questions

Aviad Haramati, PhD

Peggy A. Weissinger, EdD

Georgetown University

School of Medicine

CNDLS & OFAA

Georgetown University


Congruence
Congruence!

Objectives

Activities

Assessment

Adapted from Felder & Brent ( 1991)


What am i testing
What am I testing?

Core Principles:

  • Decide exactly what you want to test.

  • Eliminate as many ambiguities as possible.

  • Create distractors based firmly on what you want to test.

  • After it is over, use it as a learning opportunity!

    • Give feedbackfor your distracters which explains why they’re wrong.

    • Give feedback for the correct answer explaining why it’s right.

Adapted from http://hotpot.uvia.ca/howto/mcquestion.htm

TLISI - Georgetown University


Technical flaws
Technical Flaws

Issues Related to Irrelevant Difficulty

  • Options long, complicated, or double

  • Numeric data not stated consistently

  • Terms in options are vague

  • Language in options not parallel

  • Options in non-logical order

  • Stems are tricky or unnecessarily complicated

Reference: Case & Swanson (NBME) Constructing Written Test Questions

TLISI - Georgetown University


Item shape
Item Shape

Appropriately Shaped Item

Long Stem

a.

b.

c.

d.

e.

Poorly Shaped Item

Short Stem

a.

b.

c.

d.

TLISI - Georgetown University

e.


When writing options
When Writing Options...

…make sure that they are:

  • Homogenous in content

  • Incorrect or inferior to the correct answer

  • Plausible and attractive to the uninformed

  • Similar to the correct answer in construction

  • Grammatically consistent and logically compatible with the stem

Reference: Case & Swanson (NBME) Constructing Written Test Questions

TLISI - Georgetown University


General guidelines
General Guidelines

  • Bulk of question in the stem.

  • Try “cover-the-options” test.

  • Avoid superfluous information.

  • Avoid “tricky” and overly complex items.

  • Write grammatically consistent options.

  • Avoid absolutes! (e.g. always, never, all)

    And most important: Focus on important concepts. Don’t waste time testing trivial facts.

Reference: Case & Swanson (NBME) Constructing Written Test Questions

TLISI - Georgetown University


Pulling it together
Pulling it together!

Summary:

  • Decide what you want to test.

  • Well-written objectives make the job easier.

  • Use guidelines for writing quality MCQ.

  • Local resources here to help!


Contact information
Contact information

Peg Weissinger

[email protected]

202-687-4556

Aviad Haramati

[email protected]

202-687-1021

CNDLS & OFAA

Georgetown University


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