I am very close to killing multiple choice on my final exam. It makes me nervous though. I currently teach 77 students and getting 10 written answers from each is a bit overwhelming. The only reason I would not give an all written final exam is to ease my pain and suffering (and maybe a little of my students). The reality is, multiple choice questions reward memorization and not much else. It is simply rote memorization. Is an ‘A’ student the student that can memorize the most? I think I am reconsidering the definition of an ‘A’ student. There is a world of difference betweeen -
X – What happened at the Battle of Tours?
Y – How would the world be different if the Muslims were victorious at the Battle of Tours?
The typical ‘A’ student that can memorize can answer question X but might struggle with question Y because it is asking for facts and application.
My main concern is not necessarily the difficulty but the grading. I have given written exams before but not to this scale. I picture myself just scanning them by the 300th essay. I think that is just as bad as low-level-recall multiple choice questions. That is not real assessment either.
So, I don’t have the answer to my dilemma. I want real assessment and I want to keep my sanity.