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Article: Impact of item-writing flaws in multiple-choice questions on student achievement in high-stakes nursing assessments

TitleImpact of item-writing flaws in multiple-choice questions on student achievement in high-stakes nursing assessments
Authors
Issue Date2008
PublisherWiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.wiley.com/bw/journal.asp?ref=0308-0110
Citation
Medical Education, 2008, v. 42 n. 2, p. 198-206 How to Cite?
AbstractContext: Multiple-choice questions (MCQs) are frequently used to assess students in health science disciplines. However, few educators have formal instruction in writing MCQs and MCQ items often have item-writing flaws. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of item-writing flaws on student achievement in high-stakes assessments in a nursing programme in an English-language university in Hong Kong. Methods: From a larger sample, we selected 10 summative test papers that were administered to undergraduate nursing students in 1 nursing department. All test items were reviewed for item-writing flaws by a 4-person consensus panel. Items were classified as 'flawed' if they contained ≥ 1 flaw. Items not containing item-writing violations were classified as 'standard'. For each paper, 2 separate scales were computed: a total scale which reflected the characteristics of the assessment as administered and a standard scale which reflected the characteristics of a hypothetical assessment including only unflawed items. Results: The proportion of flawed items on the 10 test papers ranged from 28-75%; 47.3% of all items were flawed. Fewer examinees passed the standard scale than the total scale (748 [90.6%] versus 779 [94.3%]). Conversely, the proportion of examinees obtaining a score ≥ 80% was higher on the standard scale than the total scale (173 [20.9%] versus 120 [14.5%]). Conclusions: Flawed MCQ items were common in high-stakes nursing assessments but did not disadvantage borderline students, as has been previously demonstrated. Conversely, high-achieving students were more likely than borderline students to be penalised by flawed items. © 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/178292
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 3.369
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 1.913
ISI Accession Number ID
References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorTarrant, Men_US
dc.contributor.authorWare, Jen_US
dc.date.accessioned2012-12-19T09:45:04Z-
dc.date.available2012-12-19T09:45:04Z-
dc.date.issued2008en_US
dc.identifier.citationMedical Education, 2008, v. 42 n. 2, p. 198-206en_US
dc.identifier.issn0308-0110en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/178292-
dc.description.abstractContext: Multiple-choice questions (MCQs) are frequently used to assess students in health science disciplines. However, few educators have formal instruction in writing MCQs and MCQ items often have item-writing flaws. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of item-writing flaws on student achievement in high-stakes assessments in a nursing programme in an English-language university in Hong Kong. Methods: From a larger sample, we selected 10 summative test papers that were administered to undergraduate nursing students in 1 nursing department. All test items were reviewed for item-writing flaws by a 4-person consensus panel. Items were classified as 'flawed' if they contained ≥ 1 flaw. Items not containing item-writing violations were classified as 'standard'. For each paper, 2 separate scales were computed: a total scale which reflected the characteristics of the assessment as administered and a standard scale which reflected the characteristics of a hypothetical assessment including only unflawed items. Results: The proportion of flawed items on the 10 test papers ranged from 28-75%; 47.3% of all items were flawed. Fewer examinees passed the standard scale than the total scale (748 [90.6%] versus 779 [94.3%]). Conversely, the proportion of examinees obtaining a score ≥ 80% was higher on the standard scale than the total scale (173 [20.9%] versus 120 [14.5%]). Conclusions: Flawed MCQ items were common in high-stakes nursing assessments but did not disadvantage borderline students, as has been previously demonstrated. Conversely, high-achieving students were more likely than borderline students to be penalised by flawed items. © 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.en_US
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherWiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.wiley.com/bw/journal.asp?ref=0308-0110en_US
dc.relation.ispartofMedical Educationen_US
dc.rightsMedical Education. Copyright © Blackwell Publishing Ltd.-
dc.subject.meshChoice Behavioren_US
dc.subject.meshEducation, Nursing - Methodsen_US
dc.subject.meshEducational Measurement - Methodsen_US
dc.subject.meshEducational Statusen_US
dc.subject.meshHong Kongen_US
dc.subject.meshTeaching - Methodsen_US
dc.titleImpact of item-writing flaws in multiple-choice questions on student achievement in high-stakes nursing assessmentsen_US
dc.typeArticleen_US
dc.identifier.emailTarrant, M: tarrantm@hkucc.hku.hken_US
dc.identifier.authorityTarrant, M=rp00461en_US
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltexten_US
dc.identifier.doi10.1111/j.1365-2923.2007.02957.xen_US
dc.identifier.pmid18230093-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-38349164104en_US
dc.identifier.hkuros141451-
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-38349164104&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_US
dc.identifier.volume42en_US
dc.identifier.issue2en_US
dc.identifier.spage198en_US
dc.identifier.epage206en_US
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000252588700015-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Kingdomen_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridTarrant, M=7004340118en_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridWare, J=35308222100en_US
dc.identifier.citeulike2311170-

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