If a significant learning outcome requires negative phrasing, such as identification of dangerous laboratory or clinical practices, the negative element should be emphasized with italics or capitalization. The stem should be a question or a partial sentence. A question stem is preferable because it allows the student to focus on answering the question rather than holding the partial sentence in working memory and sequentially completing it with each alternative Statman The cognitive load is increased when the stem is constructed with an initial or interior blank, so this construction should be avoided.
All alternatives should be plausible. The function of the incorrect alternatives is to serve as distractors,which should be selected by students who did not achieve the learning outcome but ignored by students who did achieve the learning outcome. Common student errors provide the best source of distractors. Alternatives should be stated clearly and concisely. Alternatives should be mutually exclusive. Alternatives should be homogenous in content. Alternatives that are heterogeneous in content can provide cues to student about the correct answer.
Alternatives should be free from clues about which response is correct. Sophisticated test-takers are alert to inadvertent clues to the correct answer, such differences in grammar, length, formatting, and language choice in the alternatives.
In either case, students can use partial knowledge to arrive at a correct answer. The alternatives should be presented in a logical order e. The number of alternatives can vary among items as long as all alternatives are plausible. Plausible alternatives serve as functional distractors, which are those chosen by students that have not achieved the objective but ignored by students that have achieved the objective.
There is little difference in difficulty, discrimination, and test score reliability among items containing two, three, and four distractors. Avoid complex multiple choice items , in which some or all of the alternatives consist of different combinations of options. Keep the specific content of items independent of one another. Savvy test-takers can use information in one question to answer another question, reducing the validity of the test.
Finally, designing alternatives that require a high level of discrimination can also contribute to multiple choice items that test higher-order thinking.
Retrieved [todaysdate] from https: Multiple choice test items have several potential advantages: Constructing an Effective Stem 1. Constructing Effective Alternatives 1.
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I included some higher order thinking questions within the lesson to take advantage of teachable moments and foster critical and creative thinking amongst students. I focused on implementing the lesson plan and sometimes missed teachable moments and the opportunity to let students think critically and creatively.
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