Multiple choice questions (MCQ), when designed with good structure and strategies, can provide an in-depth evaluation of a student’s knowledge and understanding.
“…almost any well-defined cognitive objective can be tested fairly in a multiple choice format.”
From the article, Multiple-Choice Questions Based on Bloom’s Taxonomy:
“Well crafted and standards aligned multiple choice questions deliver powerful data. This data helps teachers identify areas of student weakness, and give students meaningful feedback. By integrating multiple choice questions into the formative assessment mix, hard data points of student learning can be easily tracked and acted upon.”
- Question / Right answer
- Incomplete statement (cloze reading)
- Best answer
Additionally, Assessment Literacy and Program Evaluation Consultant, Natalie Bolton, recommended using MCQ for low stakes rapid classroom feedback and formative assessments. MCQ can generate qualitative data that can be used to create charts and diagrams for data analysis.
It’s not all pie in the sky though. It can be challenging to write those good questions. To prevent confusion don’t interpret “higher thinking skills” with “difficulty” or “complicated”:
- use data or pictures to go beyond recall
- use multiple choice to get at skill questions