• Training Room

    STEP - 'How to...Write good multiple-choice questions'
    Provider   Organisational and Staff Development Unit

    Exploration of evidence-based practice for writing good (or bad!) MCQ, and approaches to testing higher-order thinking skills.

Duration 1 hour

Course Type Workshop

Booking Status Now Booking

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Target Audience: All staff who teach using multiple choice questions

Multiple-choice questions (MCQ) can form the cornerstone of many teaching programs, and provide a powerful platform for instant feedback when administered online. However, careful consideration needs to be given to design and structure. Poorly-thought-out questions can introduce confusion and undermine student understanding. Additionally, common structural flaws can leak clues, allowing guesswork to take over and undermining any meaningful learning.


In this session we will examine the factors that make MCQ fail to promote learning, and how to design your MCQ for success.


Multiple choice questions are most frequently used to test lower-level cognitive tasks such as memory or the application of algorithms, but with careful design they can also be used to test higher-order thinking skills so the session will include an exploration of how to use MCQ for more than just confirming memorisation or stepwise solving.

  • • Understand the factors that cause MCQs fail to promote meaningful learning
  • • Evaluate existing MCQs for flaws
  • • Create flaw-free MCQs that effectively evaluate student learning
  • • Understand the role of MCQs in probing higher-order cognitive tasks such as evaluation or analysis

Delivered By: Patrick Thomson, Pure & Applied Chemistry Dept.