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Article: The frequency of item writing flaws in multiple-choice questions used in high stakes nursing assessments

TitleThe frequency of item writing flaws in multiple-choice questions used in high stakes nursing assessments
Authors
KeywordsAssessment
Examination
Item-writing flaws
Multiple-choice questions
Issue Date2006
PublisherChurchill Livingstone. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/nedt
Citation
Nurse Education In Practice, 2006, v. 6 n. 6, p. 354-363 How to Cite?
AbstractMultiple-choice questions are a common assessment method in nursing examinations. Few nurse educators, however, have formal preparation in constructing multiple-choice questions. Consequently, questions used in baccalaureate nursing assessments often contain item-writing flaws, or violations to accepted item-writing guidelines. In one nursing department, 2770 MCQs were collected from tests and examinations administered over a five-year period from 2001 to 2005. Questions were evaluated for 19 frequently occurring item-writing flaws, for cognitive level, for question source, and for the distribution of correct answers. Results show that almost half (46.2%) of the questions contained violations of item-writing guidelines and over 90% were written at low cognitive levels. Only a small proportion of questions were teacher generated (14.1%), while 36.2% were taken from testbanks and almost half (49.4%) had no source identified. MCQs written at a lower cognitive level were significantly more likely to contain item-writing flaws. While there was no relationship between the source of the question and item-writing flaws, teachergenerated questions were more likely to be written at higher cognitive levels (p < 0.001). Correct answers were evenly distributed across all four options and no bias was noted in the placement of correct options. Further training in item-writing is recommended for all faculty members who are responsible for developing tests. Pre-test review and quality assessment is also recommended to reduce the occurrence of item-writing flaws and to improve the quality of test questions. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/54324
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 0.964
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 0.662
References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorTarrant, Men_HK
dc.contributor.authorKnierim, Aen_HK
dc.contributor.authorHayes, SKen_HK
dc.contributor.authorWare, Jen_HK
dc.date.accessioned2009-04-03T07:43:20Z-
dc.date.available2009-04-03T07:43:20Z-
dc.date.issued2006en_HK
dc.identifier.citationNurse Education In Practice, 2006, v. 6 n. 6, p. 354-363en_HK
dc.identifier.issn1471-5953en_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/54324-
dc.description.abstractMultiple-choice questions are a common assessment method in nursing examinations. Few nurse educators, however, have formal preparation in constructing multiple-choice questions. Consequently, questions used in baccalaureate nursing assessments often contain item-writing flaws, or violations to accepted item-writing guidelines. In one nursing department, 2770 MCQs were collected from tests and examinations administered over a five-year period from 2001 to 2005. Questions were evaluated for 19 frequently occurring item-writing flaws, for cognitive level, for question source, and for the distribution of correct answers. Results show that almost half (46.2%) of the questions contained violations of item-writing guidelines and over 90% were written at low cognitive levels. Only a small proportion of questions were teacher generated (14.1%), while 36.2% were taken from testbanks and almost half (49.4%) had no source identified. MCQs written at a lower cognitive level were significantly more likely to contain item-writing flaws. While there was no relationship between the source of the question and item-writing flaws, teachergenerated questions were more likely to be written at higher cognitive levels (p < 0.001). Correct answers were evenly distributed across all four options and no bias was noted in the placement of correct options. Further training in item-writing is recommended for all faculty members who are responsible for developing tests. Pre-test review and quality assessment is also recommended to reduce the occurrence of item-writing flaws and to improve the quality of test questions. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.en_HK
dc.languageengen_HK
dc.publisherChurchill Livingstone. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/nedten_HK
dc.relation.ispartofNurse Education in Practiceen_HK
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subjectAssessmenten_HK
dc.subjectExaminationen_HK
dc.subjectItem-writing flawsen_HK
dc.subjectMultiple-choice questionsen_HK
dc.subject.meshDiscriminant Analysisen_HK
dc.subject.meshEducation, Nursing, Associate - standardsen_HK
dc.subject.meshEducation, Nursing, Baccalaureate - standardsen_HK
dc.subject.meshEducational Measurement - methods - standardsen_HK
dc.subject.meshWriting - standardsen_HK
dc.titleThe frequency of item writing flaws in multiple-choice questions used in high stakes nursing assessmentsen_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.openurlhttp://library.hku.hk:4550/resserv?sid=HKU:IR&issn=0260-6917&volume=26&issue=8&spage=662&epage=671&date=2006&atitle=The+frequency+of+item+writing+flaws+in+multiple-choice+questions+used+in+high+stakes+nursing+assessmentsen_HK
dc.identifier.emailTarrant, M: tarrantm@hkucc.hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityTarrant, M=rp00461en_HK
dc.description.naturepostprinten_HK
dc.identifier.doi10.1016/j.nepr.2006.07.002en_HK
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-33751354892en_HK
dc.identifier.hkuros123803-
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-33751354892&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_HK
dc.identifier.volume6en_HK
dc.identifier.issue6en_HK
dc.identifier.spage354en_HK
dc.identifier.epage363en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridTarrant, M=7004340118en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridKnierim, A=15073747400en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridHayes, SK=7202408061en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridWare, J=35308222100en_HK

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