Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Multiple Choice

My students asked me today why I am so opposed to using multiple-choice quizzes. I believe that there is absolutely no pedagogic rationale behind using multiple-choice exercises in the Humanities. The teacher's goal should be making students produce something. Even if it's one word, one date, or one name, it should come from the students.

Another reason why I consider multiple choice completely counter-productive is that it gives 3 or 4 wrong answers for every correct answer. What is the purpose of suggesting mistaken responses to the students? The wrong answers might end up sticking in their brain, and then it's hard to remove them from the students' memory.

From the teacher's point of view, while correcting multiple-choice assignments is very easy, creating them must be quite painful. I mean, you have to sit there inventing those mistaken responses, which seems like a royal waste of time. I wonder who is the genius who initially came up with this useless form of testing the students' knowledge.


Izgad said...

I do not do multiple choice either, though my students ask for it as well. I like to do identifies and short response questions.

V said...

I do not do multiple choice either, and I am in sciences, where multiple choice is at least sometimes not completely ridiculous.