Creative Tips for Writing Good Multiple Choice Questions
The art of effectively drafting multiple choice questions can be quite complicated, although this does not have to be the case. For most people, the beauty of being able to assess higher order thinking skills in a valid and reliable format often come with some level of revision and trial and error. At the same time, there are particular aspects that you should consider to come up with good questions. The items you create can measure a wide range of different types of abilities and knowledge. The ease of grading afforded by this type of questions makes them popular as an assessment tool. When used as an assignment or exam, it allows instructors to examine the concepts that were clearest to students, as well as those that need more work.
What Are the Elements of Good Multiple-Choice Questions?
Writing exemplary multiple-choice questions can be quite complicated. However, this type of assessment remains an efficient and effective way of assessing learning outcomes. The text items have numerous possible advantages including:
They Are Versatile
The items of a multiple-choice test can be created to assess various levels of learning outcomes, from basic recall to evaluation, application, and analysis. Given that the learners are picking from a set of possible responses, however, you need to consider that there are certain limitations for this type of testing. For instance, it may not be ideal for texting students’ ability to articulate explanations and organize thoughts.
Multiple Choice Tests Are Reliable
One common attribute of this type of test is that it is reliable. Here, reliability implies the degree to which the assessment consistently measures a particular learning outcome. Unlike true or false items, multiple choice questions are less susceptible to guessing. As such, they tend to be more reliable as an assessment tool. The reliability is enhanced even further when the number of items focused on a solitary learning objective is increased. Furthermore, the goal of scoring that is connected to multiple-choice items frees this approach from the complications associated with inconsistencies on the part of the scorer.
Good Multiple-Choice Items Promote Validity
Another important element of well-constructed multiple-choice questions is validity. This implies the degree to which the items measure the learning outcomes. Given that learners typically respond to multiple-choice questions much faster than essay-style questions, it is common for tests using the multiple-item approach to focus relatively on a broad representation of the course material. This, ultimately, increases the validity of the assessment.
It is important to remember that the key to quality online multiple choice questions is in the attention paid to each item. In the following sections, we take a deeper look into some tips you could use during the writing process.
Tips for Writing Multiple Choice Questions Using Bloom’s Taxonomy
The easiest way to understand the multiple-choice question is to divide it into a problem, referred to as the stem, and proposed solutions, known as alternatives. The proper way to construct alternatives is to include one correct response and inferior or incorrect options (also known as distractors). To get the process of creating the multiple-choice items right, our experienced writers use the revised Blooms taxonomy.
The taxonomy is founded on the cognitive objectives which were developed by Benjamin Bloom in the 1950s. According to this classification, there are six different levels of cognitive behavior, which can explain the abilities and skills used in the classroom. These include:
- Creating — Encouraging learners to examine things from a different perspective or to come up with res ideas;
- Evaluating — This demands that the students have a rationale for the course of action they have chosen;
- Analyzing — Here, learners are required to use deduction skills to break down the data provided to understand the content fully;
- Applying — This requires learners to utilize the information that they have already acquired to solve a problem;
- Understanding — Here, learners are required o explain the process or situation, showing that they have a good grasp of the materials;
- Remembering — Here, the student’s’ ability to recall important information is tested
Based on the model, the first two categories in the list may not be ideal for creating multiple choice questions since they do not permit predetermined responses. However, remembering, understanding, and applying allow for more convergent thinking, and are, therefore, ideal for more predictable and concrete answers. In other words, they are ideal for evidence multiple choice questions and answers online.
Please note that it is possible to transform the divergent type of questions into more convergent types of tests by ensuring that they have concrete responses. The main benefit of creating tests based on this model is that the questions will not be unnecessarily complicated for the leaner. The resulting items are also easier to modify or correct. Here are some useful tips for writing exemplary multiple-choice questions based on the taxonomy established by Bloom:
Always Reasonable Responses in the Questions
One of the biggest mistakes people make when writing multiple-choice questions is not making the alternative or incorrect responsible plausible enough. You have to make them convincing so that the learner’s ability to recall the information is tested and applied to the task. This ensures that the learner has a good grasp of the concept.
Use Charts and Graphs in the Test
To push the learner to use his or her analyzing skills, use graphs or charts in your test. Asking the person to interpret the data will help with determining whether he or she has actually absorbed the information.
Create Stories or Examples to Test the Leaner’s Understanding
Including stories and examples in your multiple choice questions online test, which the learner should read before responding to the items is important. It helps in testing his or her understanding and analyzing skills.
It is important to note that multiple-choice questions may need to be reassessed from time to time, ensuring that they remain effective in assessing the learners’ knowledge retention as well as an understanding of the subject matter. Whenever necessary, you will need to rework questions that may be too easy or too complex.
Additional Tips for Designing Quality Questions
Multiple choice questions offer an effective way of diagnostically assessing a learner’s understanding and recall for a specific subject.
Here are some other tips to help you:
- Keep the questions simple — Eliminate those words that may be distracting or confusing;
- Avoid the use of negatives — Negatives can be confusing and may be missed by those being assessed;
- Organize your question — Use either alphabetical, numerical, or time sequence to arrange the responses;
- Check for grammar and consistency — Grammar mistakes can be confusing to the student.
You also need to keep the alternatives similar in terms of the level of detail and length. In addition, the items should ask learners to discriminate the alternatives using a similar dimension connected to the same criterion. Carefully revise and review the questions to eliminate word repeats.
When to Consider Professional Help
The tips outlined in this article are meant to help with writing good multiple-choice questions. However, it is understandable if you need assistance. One situation in which it would be appropriate to consider assistance from professionals is when you doubt your ability to create an effective and consistent question. There are so many parameters considered, that even a deep understanding of the subject cannot be sufficient. You need a professional with an understanding of the course material as well as of the structuring of such papers. Working with professionals also save on time, allowing you to focus on other more important things. However, you need to ensure that the person helping with your project has the experience and the skills needed to deliver quality, and on time.
Here are some company attributes to consider:
- Opportunities to ask for revisions, at no extra cost;
- Originality and on-time delivery guarantees;
- The existence of a huge team of competent writers;
- Responsiveness to communication;
- The pricing policy, and the existence of discounts;
- Similarity checks;
- Existence of a customer support team.
Remember, not everyone who claims to help with writing tasks has the capacity, or even the intention to deliver. You may need to conduct thorough background checks and ask for samples before trusting someone with your project.
Don’t Hesitate! Let Us Help with Custom Multiple-Choice Writing
If, either due to lack of time or skills, you find that you are unable to work on your multiple-choice items, you need to engage the best professionals in the industry. We have experienced writers who can deliver well-structured material on time. Our customers enjoy fast and affordable help, written in line with the best industry standards. The process is collaborative and considers your input throughout. Don’t wait — get safe help here.