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Thursday, June 23 • 15:00 - 16:00
CON08.13a - Educated vs. random guessing: validating partial-credit schemes in scratch-card multiple-choice exams

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A century of research has established the reliability of multiple-choice testing as a classroom assessment tool, yet, as commonly deployed, MC exams suffer from several important drawbacks including a lack of student feedback and incompatibility with partial credit schemes. Answer-until-correct (AUC) MC formats such as the scratch-card-based immediate feedback assessment technique (IF-AT) incorporate immediate student feedback and allow for straightforward partial credit scoring schemes. In my talk, I will describe five years of use of IF-AT in exams in introductory physics and chemistry courses. The availability of partial credit within a multiple-choice test invariably increases test scores. I will discuss how the various scoring schemes impact test score increases, and will further present clear evidence that in IF-AT examinations partial credit is routinely granted in a reliable and discriminating manner that is inconsistent with notions of random guessing. The amount of partial credit a student earns is shown to correlate strongly to their test scores in the absence of partial credit, thereby indicating that partial credit is being used to reward partial knowledge. I will also review a meta-analysis that shows that all evaluated IF-AT tests prove better assessment tools with partial-credit than without. Thus, in addition to the significant pedagogical motivations of using techniques such as the IF-AT, there are strong psychometric reasons to motivate further expansion of the use of AUC MC tests in higher-education.

avatar for Aaron Slepkov

Aaron Slepkov

Associate Professor, Trent University
Aaron Slepkov is an Assistant Professor and Canada Research Chair in the department of Physics & Astronomy at Trent University. His current SoTL research deals with developing classroom assessment tools specifically geared to science education. Dr. Slepkov is working to create multiple-choice... Read More →

Thursday June 23, 2016 15:00 - 16:00 EDT
UCC 315 (Council Chambers)