Multiple Choice and Constructed Response Tests: Do Test Format and Scoring Matter?

Margit Kastner, Barbara Stangl

Publication: Chapter in book/Conference proceedingContribution to conference proceedings

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Abstract

Problem Statement: Nowadays, multiple choice (MC) tests are very common, and replace many constructed response (CR) tests. However, literature reveals that there is no consensus whether both test formats are equally suitable for measuring students‟ ability or knowledge. This might be due to the fact that neither the type of MC question nor the scoring rule used when comparing test formats are mentioned. Hence, educators do not have any guidelines which test format or scoring rule is appropriate. Purpose of Study: The study focuses on the comparison of CR and MC tests. More precisely, short answer questions are contrasted to equivalent MC questions with multiple responses which are graded with three different scoring rules. Research Methods: An experiment was conducted based on three instruments: A CR and a MC test using a similar stem to assure that the questions are of an equivalent level of difficulty. This procedure enables the comparison of the scores students gained in the two forms of examination. Additionally, a questionnaire was handed out for further insights into students‟ learning strategy, test preference, motivation, and demographics. In contrast to previous studies the present study applies the many-facet Rasch measurement approach for analyzing data which allows improving the reliability of an assessment and applying small datasets.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationINTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON EDUCATION AND EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY 2010
Editors Zafer Bekirogullari
Place of PublicationCyprus
PublisherElsevier
Pages263 - 273
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Publication series

SeriesProcedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences
Volume12
ISSN1877-0428

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