EFFECT OF MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTION FORMAT ON STUDENT PERFORMANCE

Umairia Malik

Abstract


As we move to online teaching and assessment, it is timely to consider how multiple-choice quizzes can best be used to give accurate information about student knowledge and learning. The gender gap in performance often has been observed on multiple choice quizzes, including commonly used physics inventories such as the Force Concept Inventory (FCI). Many factors have been identified that contribute to these gaps, however the gaps have not been closed. In this paper, the effect of question format of the six Identifying Force (IF) questions of the FCI was investigated. These questions are presented as Complex Multiple Choice (CMC) questions and were modified to Multiple True-False (MTF) format. Comparing the results of the original (CMC) and modified (MTF) question format, I found that both male and female students’ performance was lower when MTF format was used and the gender gap was not reduced. A comparison of students’ answer choices on the two formats indicated that the CMC (original) format overestimated students’ knowledge and failed to identify some misconceptions. Hence, although modifying the format from CMC to MTF did not reduce the gender gap, it did provide more information about students’ thinking.

Keywords


gender gap, question format

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