Thursday, March 18, 2010

Stop Using Multiple Choice Tests

This session cuts right to the chase and examines 13 'nail in the coffin' reasons why teachers should never use mutliple choice tests again. Not only do multiple choice tests not tell us what we think or would hope they would tell us, but they also infect the classroom with the worst kind of teaching and learning. Educators who continue to use multiple choice tests as their primary or default assessment tool are engaging in a kind of educational malpractice. Despite their utility, there is nothing a multiple choice test can do that another more authentic kind of assessment can not do better. It's time we relegated multiple choice tests to the educational museum along with other archaic practices such as corporal punishment and segregation.

For more on why multiple choice tests should be abolished:

Mulitple Choice Tests Suck
Multiple Choice Tests: Cui Bono?
Assessment Malpractice 

For more information about booking Joe Bower for a lecture or workshop, please contact by e-mail: joe.bower.teacher@gmail.com


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1 comment:

  1. Most of the time my comments are "right on Joe!" but I disagree with you on this one, in a way. I think I agree with the "spirit" of this post, but I want to "push back" on the claim that m/c tests are NEVER a good assessment method. We (teachers, assessment folks, etc) are VERY guilty of overusing the m/c format b/c its "easy" to score bucket-loads of ed research exists using it, etc. Neither of those are good reasons for a classroom teacher to use it. But I think Rick Stiggins ideas about "target-method" match are compelling - the idea that our assessment method should "match" the learning goal we are trying to assess (see http://www.aea267.k12.ia.us/cia/index.php?page=assessment_matrix). When I get back in the classroom, when I want to get assessment data about students abilities to analyze, evaluate, etc. I'm going to use an essay or perf. based assessment. But if I just want data about knowledge level stuff (vocab familiarity, etc.) then I wouldn't be nervous about using the m/c format.

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