Improve comprehension by re-stating ‘not’ questions into positives

Here is a question from our database, with one of its distractors (incorrect answers), and a feedback statement written by a student:
Question Distractor Feedback statement written by student
Which one of the following is not a network topology? Bus Bus is not a network topology.
Do you see the problem? ‘Bus’ is indeed a network topology. By stating the question in the negative, the distractor becomes a double negative – ‘bus’ is NOT NOT a network topology. And guess wha Continue reading

The ‘loser’ problem

Losers are made, not born.

Every winner begets a loser. In a class of 30 who are kept ranked, 15 students are consistently being told they are below average, and probably no more than three trade the epithet ‘bottom of the class’. Tell someone (especially a teenager) something about themselves often enough, support it with peer feedback, and it rapidly becomes a belief. A placid but dozy 5 year-old can be turned into a streetfighting petty criminal fairly reliably with 10 years of Continue reading

Assessing Evaluation with multiple-choice questions

In a previous post I covered the KUE model and bemoaned the infrequent application of U and E in multiple-choice questions. Assessing evaluative thinking in multiple choice may seem the hardest of the lot, because it’s the most abstracted form of learning. In fact, it’s relatively easy provided you are very clear about exactly what you are testing for with each question.

Continuing the cycling theme, I’d like you to imagine you are talking one-to-one with a student, and you want Continue reading

Assessing Understanding with multiple-choice questions

The National Curriculum couched learning achievement in terms of knowledge, understanding and evaluation (KUE), a cut-down version of Bloom’s Taxonomy. This remains, in my view, by far the most practical version for the working educator.

The easiest way to set up an assessment is via multiple-choice questions. Building the technology to serve and mark multiple choice tests is easy; most VLEs support it and there are plenty of Continue reading