Choices vs Multiple Choice 112:365×2

How do we want to assess learning?  Can we determine the way in which students understand content by bubbles?  It is time to accept that the multiple choice test has essentially become less and less valuable as an evaluation tool.  Is it completely worthless? Probably not, as I can imagine a few scenarios in which it is valuable, but in assessing someone’s ability to demonstrate knowledge, especially in reading, it seems as though it does not actually cover the depth of understanding that is required.

There are limitless ways in which we can determine if someone knows something.  If we want to know if kids know about a topic, we can have them write, create a project, make a video, teach the class, to name just a few.  Knowing concepts and knowing details are different.  Knowing details and facts in the information age is like having the ability to see if it is raining by sticking your head out the window.  It has no purpose in today’s society.  If I want to know what Dickens said on page 256 line 3 in a book, I can google search it and find out fairly easily.  If I want to engage in a debate about his purpose and how the literature reflects the period in which he writes, I have to understand the concepts. (Yes I know someone probably posted that on google too, but are you really going to google search something while explaining the concept?)

So why use the fact and form assessment of multiple choice to determine someone’s ability at having read a text? It seems so pointless in the world of open book fact checking called smartphones.

In short, unless someone can give me a good reason to provide multiple choice assessments in reading, I think I will go with e. ANYTHING OTHER THAN MULTIPLE CHOICE!


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