On Friday, April 21st 2017, the EBVS Executive Committee organized a workshop in Brussels dealing with the complex issue of developing multiple choice questions for college diplomate examinations. It was chaired by Elien Sabbe from the Educational Quality Assurance Office of Ghent University.
A total of 11 College examiners and 4 College Board members attended the workshop.
Ms. Sabbe reminded the participants that evaluation by means of multiple-choice questions offer many opportunities. The tests can be offered simultaneously to large groups of students and are able to include a wide variety of contents and skills. Moreover, they can be corrected simply and quickly.
Many myths surround the merits and fallbacks of multiple-choice exams and the development of a quality multiple-choice examination is not to be taken for granted.
During the workshop, the following issues were addressed:
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of multiple-choice examinations?
- How do you make sure that your multiple-choice questions are a fair reflection of the content of your course?
- How can you design multiple-choice questions that probe more than mere knowledge reproduction?
- What are the rules of thumb in formulating clear and effective multiple-choice questions?
- How can you prevent students who do not understand the content of the question from being guided to the correct answers by clues in the format?
- Is guess correction always the best way to deal with random guessing?
- How can you check the quality of the questions you prepared?
A post-workshop survey reported that all the participants were very satisfied with the workshop and that it should be repeated, perhaps for a whole day the next time!