Selasa, 05 Juni 2012

SUGGESTIONS FOR CONSTRUCTING MULTIPLE-CHOICE ITEMS


SUGGESTIONS FOR CONSTRUCTING MULTIPLE-CHOICE ITEMS

The general applicability and the superior qualities of multiple-choice test items are realized most fully, obviously, when care is taken in their construction. The following suggestions provide more specific maxims for this purpose :

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1.      The stem of the item should be meaningful by itself and should present a definite problem. All too. All too frequently the stem of test items placed in multiple-choice form are incomplete statements that make little sense until all of the alternatives have been read. These are not multiple-choice items but rather a collection of true-false statements placed in multiple-choice form. Example

Poor :
 UNISLA . . . .
a. is in surabaya
b. has a large students than University oxford
c. do not have UKM
d. is the biggest Islamic university in lamongan (right)

Better:
The biggest Islamic university in lamongan is …
a.      UNESA
b.      UNISDA
c.       UNISLA (right)
d.      UNMER

2.      . Include as much of the item as possible in the stem, but do not include irrelevant material. This will increase the probability of a clearly stated problem in the stem and will reduce the reading time required. The following examples illustrate how the conciseness of an item is increased by removing irrelevant material and by including in the stem those words repeated in the alternatives. It should also be noted that to obtain the conciseness of the final version, it was necessary to shift to the incomplete-statement form.
Example :

Poor : most of south America was settled by colonists from spain. How could you account for the large number of spainsh colonists settling there?
a.      They were adventurous
b.      They were in search wealth (right )
c.       They wanted lower taxes
d.      They were seeking religious freedom


Better : why did Spanish colonists settle most of south America?
a.       They were adventurous
b.      They were in search wealth (right )
c.       They wanted lower taxes
d.      They were seeking religious freedom

Best : Spanish colonist settled most of south America in search of
a.      Adventure
b.      Wealth
c.       Lower taxes
d.      Religious freedom

3.      Use a negatively stated item stem only when significant learning out-comes require it. It means we have to avoid negative stated item which usually use not, no,least, and similar words used in negative statements, because it will make the measurement of relatively insignificant learning outcomes.

Altrough negative stated items are generally to be avoided,there are occasions where they are useful. These are mainly in areas where the wrong information, or wrong procedure, can have dire consequences. Example in the health area, there are practices to be acoided because of their harmful nature.

Poor : which one of the following is not a safe driving practice on icy roads ?
a.      Accelerating slowly
b.      Jamming on the brakes (right)
c.       Holding the wheel firmly
d.      Slowing down gradually

Better : all of the following are safe driving practices on icy roads. EXCEPT ?
a.      Accelerating slowly
b.      Jamming on the brakes (right)
c.       Holding the wheel firmly
d.      Slowing down gradually

“not” is easily overlooked but “EXCEPT” would not be overlooked because it is placed at the end of the statement and is capitalized

4.      All of the alternatives should be grammatically consistent with the stem of the item.
This rule is not presented merely to perpetuate proper grammar usage, however. Its main function is to prevent irrelevant clues from creeping into the item. All too frequently the grammatical consistency of the correct answer is given attention while that of the distracters is neglected. As a result, some of the alternatives are grammatically inconsistent with the stem and are thereby obviously incorrect answers
Example :

Poor : an electric transformer can be used ..
a.      For storing up electricity
b.      To increase the voltage of alternating current (right)
c.       It converts electrical energy into mechanical energy
d.      Alternating current is changed to direct current

Better : an electric transformer can be used to . . .
a.      store up electricity
b.      increase the voltage of alternating current (right)
c.       convert electrical energy into mechanical energy
d.      change Alternating current is changed to direct current



5.      An item should contain only one correct or clearly best answer. Important facet of this rule concerning single-answer multiple-choice items. That is, the answer must be one that can be agreed upon by authorities in the area. Frequently a rewording of the problem in the stem will correct an otherwise faulty item.

Example :

Poor : which one of the following is the best source of heat for home use ?
a.      Coal
b.      Electricity
c.       Gas
d.      Oil

Better : in the Midwestern part of the united states, which one of the following is the most economical source of heat for home use?
a.      Coal
b.      Electricity
c.       Gas
d.      Oil




6.      Items used to measure understanding should contain some novelty but beware of too much novelty. The construction of multiple-choice items that measure learning outcomes at the understanding level requires a careful choice of situations and skillful phrasing. The situation must be new to the pupils but not too far removed from the illustrative examples used in the class, pupils can, of course, respond on the basis of memorized answers.

7.      All distracters should be plausible. The purpose of a distracter is to distract the uninformed away from the correct answer. To the pupil who has not achieved the learning outcome being tested, the distracters should be at least as attractive as the correct answer and preferably more so. In a properly constructed multiple-choice item, each distracter will be selected by some pupils. If a distracter is not selected by anyone, it makes no contrubutio to the functioning of the item and should be eliminated or revised.

One factor contributing to the plausibility of distracters is their homogeneity.

Example

Poor : who discovered the north pole ?
a.      Cristopher Columbus
b.      Ferdinand mageilan
c.       Robert peary (R)
d.      Marco polo

Better : who discovered the north pole ?
a.      Roald Amundsen
b.      Richard byrd
c.       Robert peary (R)
d.      Robert scott



8.      Verbal associations between the stem and the correct answer should be avoided. Frequently a word in the correct answer will provide an irrelevant clue because it looks or sounds like a word in the stem of the item. Such verbal associations should never permit the pupil who lacks the necessary achievement to select the correct answer. However, words similar to those in the stem might be included in the distracters to increase their plaubility. Pupils who depend on rote memory and verbal associations will then be led away from, rather than to, the correct answer. Example

Poor : which one of the following agencies should you concast to find out about a tornado warning in your locality?
a.      State farm bereau
b.      Local radio station ( R )
c.       United state post office
d.      United states weather bureau

Better : which one of the following agencies should you concast to find out about a tornado warning in your locality?
a.      Local farm bureau
b.      Nearest radio station ( R )
c.       Local post office
d.      United states weather bureau

“locality” and “local” are the main object


9.      The relative legth of the alternatives should not provide a clue to the answer. Since the correct answer usually needs to be qualified, it tends to be longer than the distracters unless a special effort is made to control the relative length of the alternatives. Where the correct answer cannot be shortened, the distracters can be expanded to the desired length. Lengthening the distracters is desirable for another reason also. The added qualifiers and increased specificity frequently contribute to their plausibility.
Example

Poor : what is the major purpose of united nations ?
a.      To maintain peace among the people of the world
b.      To establish international law
c.       To provide military control
d.      To form new governments

Better : what is the major purpose of united nations ?
a.      To maintain peace among the people of the world
b.      To develop a new system of international law
c.       To provide military control of nations that have recently attained their independence
d.      To establish and maintain democratic forms of government in newly formed nation



10.  The correct answer should appear in each of the alternative positions approximately an equal number of times, but random order. In placing the correct answer in each position, approximately an equal number of times, care must be taken to avoid a regular pattern of responses. A random placement of correct answers can be attained with the use of any book. For eac test item, open the book at an arbitrary position, note the number on the right-hand page, and place the correct answer for that test item as follows :
If page number end in                                                            place correct answer
1                                                                                                                                                                                            first
2                                                                                                                                                                                            second
3                                                                                                                                                                                            third
4                                                                                                                                                                                            fourth
5                                                                                                                                                                                            fifth

11.  Use special alternatives such as “none of the above “ or “ all of the above “ sparingly. The phrase  “none of the above “ or “ all of the above “ is sometimes added as the last alternative in multiple-choice items. This is done to force the pupil to consider all of the alternatives carefully and to increase the difficulty of the items. All to frequently, however, these special alternatives are used inappropriately. In fact, their limitations are such there are relatively few situations where their use is appropriate.


12.  Do not use multiple-choice items where other item types are more appropriate. Where various item types can serve a purpose equally well, the multiple-choice item should definitely be favored because of its many superior qualities. There are situations, however, where the multiple-choice form is inappropriate or at least less suitable than other item types. In certain problem-solving situations in mathematics and science, for example, supply-type short-answer item are clearly superior. Where there are only two possible responses (e.g., fact or opinion), the alternative-response item is more appropriate.


13.  Break any of these rules when you have a good reason for making an exception. Although these rules provide valuable guidelines for constructing multiple-choice items, you may encounter instances where making an exception to the rule improves the item.

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