Designing Better Multiple-Choice Questions

In a recent article for WashU’s The Source, Associate Professor in the Departments of Education and of Psychological & Brain Sciences, Andrew Butler describes his research on best practices for multiple-choice testing. He notes that the best multiple-choice tests provide at least three plausible answers and test for “real world” cognitive processing, like comparison and analysis. Butler also encourages faculty to use simple question formats that will not detract from the content being learned and questions which are challenging but that allow students to succeed.

Butler’s study has recently been published in the September 2018 issue of the Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition as “Multiple-Choice Testing in Education: Are the Best Practices for Assessment Also Good for Learning?”