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July 13, 2009

What is the latest state of multiple-choice testing in law school?

I am trying to catch up on some law school readings this summer, and I noticed this interesting-looking piece on SSRN.  The piece by Janet Fisher is titled "Multiple-Choice: Choosing the Best Options for More Effective and Less Frustrating Law School Testing," and here is the abstract:

Multiple-choice testing presents challenges and frustrations not only for the students who take the tests, but also for the doctrinal faculty who prepare and score the tests and for the academic support faculty who work with students having difficulty with multiple-choice tests. This article discusses means by which the multiple-choice testing experience in law school could be improved for both students and faculty.  After a brief overview of the history of multiple-choice testing, the article describes problems that arise in connection with multiple-choice testing and the possible effects of flawed multiple-choice questions.  The article then reviews basic multiple-choice item-writing guidelines and some general principles of test validity.  For this, the article draws upon the work of law professor Michael Josephson and testing authority Thomas Haladyna. Finally, the article evaluates appeal and answer-justification procedures that could be used to enhance multiple-choice testing.

In addition to being eager to engender a debate over the use of multiple-choice testing in law school, I am curious to know if anyone has tried to quantify how many settings in which law schools are using multiple-choice testing is utilized.

July 13, 2009 in Grading systems | Permalink


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MCQ Tip: You have to know the latest appellate decision, and the exception to the exceptions. If you do not, any answer that is fair, logical, or what Jesus would do is the distractor. Cross it off.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jul 16, 2009 4:35:53 PM

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