Take a look at this awesome strategy. Your multiple-choice questions may take a few extra minutes to make, but the payoff is worth it because students have a way to show their confusion, but also a way to correct it. Life isn't an all or nothing thing, so why do multiple-choice questions have to be?
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MODIFIED MULTIPLE-CHOICE (Feedback, Writing)
Description: Multiple-choice questions are relatively easy to make and process for grades, but the feedback potential for both student and teacher can be greatly enhanced with a nuanced approach. This format, by adding choices, will reveal each student’s level of understanding. It helps students focus on concepts that need additional study or practice. It clarifies confusion between two or more things that are similar, but not exact and also reveals sloppy preparation or flawed thinking. Insightful grading gives half point value to the additional choices.
Application: This strategy is used in all subjects that use a multiple-choice question format.
Process: Explain to students that some of the multiple-choice items will have more than the standard 4 responses to choose. Provide an example:
Who was the first President of the United States?
A. Abraham Lincoln
B. Alexander Hamilton
C. George Washington
D. Thomas Jefferson
E. A or B
F. C or D
Give students time to answer and review process by explaining if the student selected “C” as the answer, full point(s) awarded, but if the student chose “F” give half point(s) value. Emphasize all other answers are incorrect and no points given. Extend the learning opportunity by assigning in-class/homework focused on clarification of all incorrect or “half-point” answers. (In the above example, the student who selected “F” could say "Washington was the first and Jefferson was the third President of the United States.")
Alison Thetford, M.Ed