If you have found your way to this post, you have an interest in MCQs.
In addition to this post, I found Mr Barton Maths Podcast interview with Zeek Sweiry – Senior Researcher at CERP (Centre for Education Research and Practice) a really precise and useful summary of the topic.
Something a bit different this episode. As some of you may be aware, last year I was lucky enough to host the Inside Exams podcast, where I went behind the scenes of AQA to find out how they write exams, set grade boundaries, standardise, deal with social media, and much more. One of my favourite interviews from that series was with Zeek Sweiry about multiple choice questions. AQA have multiple choice questions on several of their exams, perhaps most notably on their Maths GCSE.
Back in 2014 I wrote a series of posts on multiple choice questions MCQs. What started as a line of enquiry on multiple-right-answer, MCQs, revealed a world of research, statistical analysis and TEFL. There really is a lot, lot more to MCQs than I could have ever of expected. What I thought was merely assessment practice, had deep rooted teaching implications. More recently, we now learn MCQs has deep rooted learning implications too (both positive and negative effects on learning) as a tool to promote learning, a cause to strengthen retrieval storage. Finally, exam boards now the value of MCQs.
As the advocacy for the use of research permeates the profession, we seeing leading schools and leading educators signpost research and share their practice, or both. Recently, I have read and listened to a disproportionate amount on research on memory and retrieval; lots from Bjork and Bjork, John Sweller and Cognitive Load Theory, Daisy Christodoulou (also a MCQ fan) and under the umbrella of retrieval practice, MCQs seem to be experiencing a resurgence even John Tomsett has a taste for MCQs.
If you are thinking to using MCQs for low or high stakes testing, then “There is more to mcqs than you think” has a few ideas worth considering. Lastly, rather than marking MCQs or using cut-out grids, then QuickKey has a lot to offer.
All prompted by Harry Fletcher-Wood’s signpost to Multiple-choice Testing: Are the Best Practices for Assessment Also Good for Learning?