Designing Effective Multiple-choice Questions for Assessing Learning Outcomes
Nowadays, multiple-choice question tests (MCQs) present a popular tool for assessing learning outcomes because they are flexible, relatively easy to implement and grade, and able to assess a large content in a short time. More important is the fact that these questions are versatile and reliable, which increases their attractiveness. Additionally, the examiners can use question sets in their assessments that are already prepared for previous courses or are available online. On the other hand, many authors argue that MCQs are commonly used to assess cognitive skills on lower levels as defined by Bloom’s taxonomy. However, the comprehensive analyses confirm that this type of assessment tool has the capacity to evaluate certain higher-order thinking.
The present research provides an overview of MCQ tests’ advantages and limitations when applied in an evaluation process. In addition, it provides a series of practical recommendations for the test developers aiming to prepare MCQs for assessing cognitive skills on a particular level. The research also reveals how to analyze MCQs validity, to insure that the MCQ tests accurately and reliably measure students’ learning outcomes.