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Considerations When Utilizing Multiple-Choice Questions in the Classroom

Kelly C. Curtis
Center for Educator Preparation, School of Education, Colorado State University

Introduction Research Questions Results Summary of Findings

¤ How does question phrasing affect student
¤ Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQs) Primary Analysis ¤ General high performance with
understanding and ability to respond to
¤ Standardized assessments questions? ¤ Count of correct responses divided by adapted version
¤ District assessments total number of administered exit tickets ¤ Improved performance for students
¤ Low cost, administered to many in one ¤ Do certain question types create response ¤ Class A: trials 3-5 higher performance on
differences among specific demographics? with language considerations
setting, graded quickly with technology adapted exit ticket styles
¤ Considerations for all MCQ designs
¤ Assess deeper knowledge bases if Literature Review ¤ Class B: all trials higher performance on
designed appropriately adapted exit tickets
¤ Practice retrieval with MCQs promotes a
substantial learning advantage 100
Class A Administered Exit Tickets


Percentage of Correct Responses

¤ Extra-grammatical structure discriminates 80

70 Percentage of correct
against examinees whose first language is not 60
response rates from Class
50 Percentage Correct Exit Ticket
Version: District Modeled A. Limitations
Background English 40

Percentage Correct Exit Ticket
Version: Adapted


¤ MCQ fairness improves the validity of their use 10

¤ Limited sample population
¤ School district in one western state 1 2 3
Trial Number
4 5

Methodology ¤ Absences
¤ Lowest performance on district Class B Administered Exit Tickets
¤ Limited timeframe
assessments Student Randomization 90

Percentage of Correct Responses


¤ Students randomly assigned a number 70

¤ Most diverse school within district (Randomized Identification, RI)

Percentage of correct

50 Percentage Exit Ticket Version:

response rates from Class District Modeled

¤ MCQs designed by school board ¤ RI number assigned a “1” or “2” randomly B.



Percentage Exit Ticket Version:


Administration 1 2 3
Trial Number
4 5

¤ Student names with either “1” or “2” on

PowerPoint Chi-Squared Analysis Action Plan
¤ Students provided exit ticket from me ¤ 𝐻0 : 𝑝 = 0.5
Purpose of Study ¤ All other students asked to get exit ticket from ¤ 𝐻𝑎 : 𝑝 ≠ 0.5 ¤ Student created MCQs
table ¤ Significance statistic: 9.49 ¤ Immediate feedback on MCQs
¤ The aim of this study is to determine if ¤ Exit tickets collected as students completed
¤ Student names matched with random number
¤ Class A: 6.52 ¤ Dedicated time for MCQ strategies
MCQ wording and formatting affects and then names removed before analysis ¤ Class B: 2.26 and guided practice
student performance on the conducted
assessment. District modeled Language Considerations
questions will be administered against Exit Tickets ¤ Color highlights: correct answers
¤ Assessment collected at the end of class ¤ Grey highlights: absences
adapted versions of MCQs and the ¤ MCQ format ¤ Orange highlights: students with known
percentage of correct responses on ¤ Two styles: district modeled and adapted language considerations Acknowledgments
both styles compared to the other. version
¤ Students in orange performed better with
¤ Designed the day before the lesson
adapted version of exit ticket ¤ Practicum cooperating teacher
Design ¤ Dr. Ann Sebald
¤ Instructions kept the same ¤ Dr. Wendy Fothergill
Hypothesis ¤ Answers the same ¤ My parents
¤ Different background information and tools
¤ Due to the poor performance of this school on
district assessments, I hypothesize that the
formatting and wording of district designed
multiple-choice questions may not consider
diverse populations. The poor performance of
this school resulted from question bias and not
Student RI, exit ticket tracking, absences, and language considerations
a lack in understanding of material.
Exit tickets from all trials