Summative assessment based on two-tier multiple-choice questions: Item discrimination and engineering students' and teachers' attitudes

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5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Summative assessment is carried out at the end of the teaching process, and should be objective, reliable and valid. The standard multiple-choice test is a common summative assessment tool in engineering education. However, one of the main arguments against this test is that it examines only lower-order thinking skills. A possible solution is the use of twotier multiple-choice questions. The research described in the paper characterized summative assessment, based on two-tier multiple-choice questions, in a course on electric circuits. The study compared the discrimination level of two-tier multiple-choice questions to that of their one-tier counterparts, and explored students' and teachers' attitudes toward incorporating the former into the final examination. The study, which used quantitative and qualitative instruments, involved 575 sophomore electrical engineering students at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology. The findings indicate that the discrimination level of two-tier multiple-choice questions is significantly higher than that of their one-tier counterparts. Both students and faculty believe that two-tier multiple-choice questions can examine higher-order thinking skills and that their discrimination level should be higher than that of one-tier questions. They further agree that two-tier multiple-choice questions are not applicable to every subject.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)830-840
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Engineering Education
Volume37
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Assessment
  • Attitudes
  • Electrical engineering
  • Item discrimination
  • Two-tier multiple-choice questions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Engineering

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