Towards quality in multiple-choice assessment

St Hill, Rod and Carmichael, Colin (2006) Towards quality in multiple-choice assessment. International Journal of Business and Management Education, Special Issue. pp. 33-47. ISSN 1832-0236


To many researchers in the area of teaching and learning, the above title may be an oxymoron. However, the use of multiple-choice in assessment programs has been and continues to be a popular choice amongst academics in the tertiary sector. Anecdotal evidence suggests that, while academics using multiple-choice tests may check the overall associated mark distribution for a test, few check its psychometric properties (for example, test reliability) and fewer still check the psychometric properties of the items within the test. The building blocks of quality multiple-choice tests are quality multiple-choice items. The psychometric quality of an item can be determined in part through an assessment of its ability to discriminate adequately between students of high and low ability. In a pilot study of three Faculty of Business courses at the University of Southern Queensland, statistical tests associated with the application of Rasch models to multiple-choice test results were used to identify items that failed to discriminate between students of high and low ability. This article reports on the findings of this study, discusses the consequences of using items with low discrimination and examines simple precautions that academics can take in order to avoid using such items.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business - No Department (Up to 31 Dec 2010)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business - No Department (Up to 31 Dec 2010)
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2007 11:47
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2018 04:20
Uncontrolled Keywords: multiple-choice items; Rasch models; quality assessment
Fields of Research (2008): 13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150313 Quality Management
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130303 Education Assessment and Evaluation
Fields of Research (2020): 39 EDUCATION > 3903 Education systems > 390303 Higher education
35 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 3507 Strategy, management and organisational behaviour > 350715 Quality management
39 EDUCATION > 3904 Specialist studies in education > 390402 Education assessment and evaluation
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930101 Learner and Learning Achievement

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