Multiple choice questions (MCQs)
MCQs can be used as formative or summative assessment, and if used electronically can provide immediate feedback. When writing questions, try not to just test what facts students have remembered, but challenge them to apply concepts, and analyse and evaluate information.
Good MCQs take time to construct, and so lead-in time is high; but this is set against much quicker or automated marking even for large cohorts.
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
Short answer questions
Much of the effort goes into the design of the MCQs. If properly designed, marking should be either automatic, or easy to complete against a correct-answer sheet.
Automated marking can give students instant feedback on the questions they answered incorrectly. More detailed feedback explaining why answers are correct or incorrect can be added to most MCQ systems, Blackboard included.
Guidelines for writing effective MCQs, including ideas for assessing higher-order thinking:
Guide to time involved in preparation, marking, and student workload: Low Medium High