Short answer questions
Like multiple choice questions, short answer questions can be a quick way of assessing a wide range of knowledge and understanding. They can also be used formatively to develop students’ reflective skills.
Preparation time Student workload Marking time
Literacies and skills exhibited
Developing arguments, reflecting, evaluating and assessing
Analysing data and reviewing
Recalling, describing, identifying and relating
Multiple choice questions
Unlike MCQs, short answer questions are normally marked manually (although tools are available that can search for the presence or absence of certain words or phrases in a response, allowing some limited automated marking). If the questions are properly worded, a set of ‘model answers’ should be available for markers to mark against.
If delivered as part of an examination, see written exam. Otherwise, comments can be added in context with particular answers, or in summary comments where students need to focus on overarching areas.
Guide to time involved in preparation, marking, and student workload: Low Medium High