Don’t Throw out the Baby With the BathwaterIt is currently fashionable to bash multiple choice questions, to say they do not have much value for the 21st century. This is the result of the high stakes testing scourge that students and educators have suffered under. Well meaning folks rightfully understand and note that exams that have a bearing on the life trajectory of a child should not consist of solely multiple choice questions.
Especially, when there are so many facets to a young person coming of age and preparing to seek their purpose in the world. We do children a disservice when we judge their merit solely on their responses to multiple choice questions and their ability to perform in a high stakes testing environment.
It is important however, to not let the backlash to their misuse in high stakes summative assessments, cause us to miss their usefulness in low stakes frequent formative assessment. When well crafted and standards aligned, multiple choice questions can deliver very powerful data from daily exit tickets, weekly assessments and unit exams. This data can help teachers identify areas of student weakness, and implement plans with their colleagues to keep kids on track, provided that teachers can access it in real time. This is how you prevent kids from falling through the cracks.
For school leaders and districts, this data can give them an easy to access window into to student progress at any given time, removing the pain of waiting for benchmark assessment results and being surprised by the scores. When used in this way, multiple choice questions can be a key component in turning around any failing school.
Multiple Choice Questions Deliver Powerful DataIn this Quick Key blog post we have pulled together concise tips for writing effective multiple choice questions, that require critical thinking and are in alignment with Bloom’s Taxonomy. Data from questions like these, when used to drive instruction, yields immediate results in the area of student performance.
We maintain that low stakes formative assessments like exit tickets, when tracked and acted upon by teachers and school-leaders, has an immediate and realtime impact in student academic performance.
Bloom’s Taxonomy OverviewAccording to Edglossary “Bloom’s taxonomy is a classification system used to define and distinguish different levels of human cognition—i.e., thinking, learning, and understanding. Educators have typically used Bloom’s taxonomy to inform or guide the development of assessments (tests and other evaluations of student learning), curriculum (units, lessons, projects, and other learning activities), and instructional methods such as questioning strategies.”
Many educators are using Blooms Taxonomy as the underpinning of their assessment creation. We want to support educators who are doing this, so we pulled together some examples of multiple choice questions based on Bloom’s Taxonomy. We hope this is a helpful resource, and we wish you inspired teaching.
Examples of Multiple Choice Questions Based on Bloom’s Taxonomy
Quick Start PDF for Writing High Quality Multiple Choice Questions
Full Comprehensive Guide For Writing High Quality Multiple Choice Questions