Towards quality in multiple-choice assessment

Article


St Hill, Rod and Carmichael, Colin. 2006. "Towards quality in multiple-choice assessment." International Journal of Business and Management Education. Special Issue, pp. 33-47.
Article Title

Towards quality in multiple-choice assessment

Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsSt Hill, Rod (Author) and Carmichael, Colin (Author)
Journal TitleInternational Journal of Business and Management Education
Journal CitationSpecial Issue, pp. 33-47
Number of Pages15
Year2006
Place of PublicationToowoomba, Australia
Web Address (URL)http://www.usq.edu.au/business-law/research/ijbme/articles
Abstract

To many researchers in the area of teaching and learning, the above title may be an oxymoron. However, the use of multiple-choice in assessment programs has been and continues to be a popular choice amongst academics in the tertiary sector. Anecdotal evidence suggests that, while academics using multiple-choice tests may check the overall associated mark distribution for a test, few check its psychometric properties (for example, test reliability) and fewer still check the psychometric properties of the items within the test. The building blocks of quality multiple-choice tests are quality multiple-choice items. The psychometric quality of an item can be determined in part through an assessment of its ability to discriminate adequately between students of high and low ability. In a pilot study of three Faculty of Business courses at the University of Southern Queensland, statistical tests associated with the application of Rasch models to multiple-choice test results were used to identify items that failed to discriminate between students of high and low ability. This article reports on the findings of this study, discusses the consequences of using items with low discrimination and examines simple precautions that academics can take in order to avoid using such items.

Keywordsmultiple-choice items; Rasch models; quality assessment
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390303. Higher education
350715. Quality management
390402. Education assessment and evaluation
Byline AffiliationsAcademic Division
Faculty of Business
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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