TITLE

Negatively-Marked MCQ Assessments That Reward Partial Knowledge Do Not Introduce Gender Bias Yet Increase Student Performance and Satisfaction and Reduce Anxiety

AUTHOR(S)
Bond, A. Elizabeth; Bodger, Owen; Skibinski, David O. F.; Jones, D. Hugh; Restall, Colin J.; Dudley, Edward; van Keulen, Geertje
PUB. DATE
February 2013
SOURCE
PLoS ONE;Feb2013, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p1
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Multiple-choice question (MCQ) examinations are increasingly used as the assessment method of theoretical knowledge in large class-size modules in many life science degrees. MCQ-tests can be used to objectively measure factual knowledge, ability and high-level learning outcomes, but may also introduce gender bias in performance dependent on topic, instruction, scoring and difficulty. The ‘Single Answer’ (SA) test is often used in which students choose one correct answer, in which they are unable to demonstrate partial knowledge. Negatively marking eliminates the chance element of guessing but may be considered unfair. Elimination testing (ET) is an alternative form of MCQ, which discriminates between all levels of knowledge, while rewarding demonstration of partial knowledge. Comparisons of performance and gender bias in negatively marked SA and ET tests have not yet been performed in the life sciences. Our results show that life science students were significantly advantaged by answering the MCQ test in elimination format compared to single answer format under negative marking conditions by rewarding partial knowledge of topics. Importantly, we found no significant difference in performance between genders in either cohort for either MCQ test under negative marking conditions. Surveys showed that students generally preferred ET-style MCQ testing over SA-style testing. Students reported feeling more relaxed taking ET MCQ and more stressed when sitting SA tests, while disagreeing with being distracted by thinking about best tactics for scoring high. Students agreed ET testing improved their critical thinking skills. We conclude that appropriately-designed MCQ tests do not systematically discriminate between genders. We recommend careful consideration in choosing the type of MCQ test, and propose to apply negative scoring conditions to each test type to avoid the introduction of gender bias. The student experience could be improved through the incorporation of the elimination answering methods in MCQ tests via rewarding partial and full knowledge.
ACCESSION #
87624150

 

Related Articles

  • Pick-N multiple choice-exams: a comparison of scoring algorithms. Bauer, Daniel; Holzer, Matthias; Kopp, Veronika; Fischer, Martin R. // Advances in Health Sciences Education;May2011, Vol. 16 Issue 2, p211 

    To compare different scoring algorithms for Pick-N multiple correct answer multiple-choice (MC) exams regarding test reliability, student performance, total item discrimination and item difficulty. Data from six 3rd year medical students' end of term exams in internal medicine from 2005 to 2008...

  • Is a picture worth a thousand words: an analysis of the difficulty and discrimination parameters of illustrated vs. text-alone vignettes in histology multiple choice questions. Holland, Jane; O'Sullivan, Robin; Arnett, Richard // BMC Medical Education;10/26/2015, Vol. 15, p1 

    Background: Advances in cognitive load theory have led to greater understanding of how we process verbal and visual material during learning, but the evidence base with regard to the use of images within written assessments is still sparse. This study examines whether the inclusion of images...

  • SORU SIRASININ MADDE GÜÇLÜĞÜ VE AYIRICILIK GÃœCÃœNE ETKÄ°SÄ°. Tan, Seref // e-Journal of New World Sciences Academy (NWSA);2009, Vol. 4 Issue 2, p486 

    In this study, it was investigated the impact of asking same questions in different orders on item difficulties and item discrimination powers in multiple choice tests. For the purpose of this study, two test forms (Form A and Form B) were created. Each of the two test forms contained the same...

  • Having Faith. Moyer, Rick // Erie Gay News;May2011, p12 

    The author reflects on the prevailing fear and anxiety in people. He thinks every generation finds a reason to suggest that they live in the worst of times in reference to an article in "Harper's Magazine" published in 1847. He finds it especially frustrating when the discrimination against gay...

  • Road Block. MAROLACHAKIS, STEFAN // FADER;Dec2012/Jan2013, Issue 83, p33 

    The article discusses a mystery illness suffered by the author while touring in the U.S. and Canada in August 2011 together with the rock bands Caveman and The War on Drugs. The admitting physician at the University of Michigan hospital advised the author to end his concert tour for him to...

  • Mass Spectrometry in the Clinical Laboratory—Challenges for Quality Assurance. Vogeser, Michael // LC-GC North America;Jul2015 Supplement Current Trends in Mass Spectrometry, Vol. 33, 

    Beyond the long-established, optical standard techniques of photometry and immunoassay, liquid chromatography-atmospheric pressure ionization-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-API-MS-MS) has opened new horizons for clinical pathology. This is related to biomedical research and standardization as well...

  • Improved Confidence Intervals for the Youden Index. Shan, Guogen // PLoS ONE;7/1/2015, Vol. 10 Issue 7, p1 

    The Youden Index is a summary measurement of the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve for the accuracy of a diagnostic test with ordinal or continuous endpoints. The bootstrap confidence interval based on the adjusted proportion estimate was shown to have satisfactory performance among...

  • Rock star can't stand losing, plans appeal. Hofmann, Mark A.; Roberts, Sally; Wojcik, Joanne // Business Insurance;7/23/2007, Vol. 41 Issue 30, p27 

    This article reports that rock star Sting has a reputation as being a progressive kind of guy, devoting a considerable amount of time and energy to human rights causes across the globe. So it must have been somewhat embarrassing when an employment tribunal in Southampton, England, ordered him...

  • Does Gender Impact Upon Application Rejection Rate Among Canadian Radiology Residency Applicants? Baerlocher, Mark O.; Walker, Michelle // Canadian Association of Radiologists Journal;Oct2005, Vol. 56 Issue 4, p232 

    Purpose: To determine if and how gender ratios have changed within Canadian radiology, and to determine if gender discrimination occurs at the level of the radiology resident selection committee. Methods: The Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Association of Radiologists, Canadian Institute...

Share

Read the Article

Courtesy of VIRGINIA BEACH PUBLIC LIBRARY AND SYSTEM

Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics