Validating and improving test case effectiveness
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Multiple choice test items can be written to assess various levels of learning outcomes, from basic recall to application, analysis, and evaluation.
Because students are choosing from a set of potential answers, however, there are obvious limits on what can be tested with multiple choice items.
Because students can typically answer a multiple choice item much more quickly than an essay question, tests based on multiple choice items can typically focus on a relatively broad representation of course material, thus increasing the validity of the assessment.
The key to taking advantage of these strengths, however, is construction of good multiple choice items.
In constructing multiple choice items to test higher order thinking, it can also be helpful to design problems that require multilogical thinking, where multilogical thinking is defined as “thinking that requires knowledge of more than one fact to logically and systematically apply concepts to a …problem” (Morrison and Free, 2001, page 20).
Finally, designing alternatives that require a high level of discrimination can also contribute to multiple choice items that test higher-order thinking.
Reliability is defined as the degree to which a test consistently measures a learning outcome.
Knowing how to write good test cases is extremely important for you as a testing resource and believe you me, it doesn’t take too much of your effort and time to write effective test scripts!