Case Study 4: Time delay in multi-choice test supports student learning
A Case Study from the Institutes of Technology and Polytechnic (ITP) sector. Part of the Enhancing the Effectiveness of Tertiary Teaching and Learning through Assessment project.
The Institutes of Technology and Polytechnic Sector
Name: Tim Hunt
Organisation: Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec)
Researcher: Jane Stewart
'The main strength of the time delayed approach to the multi-choice test is the available evidence to provide useful feedback to students ...students can look at the diagram and work out where they made a mistake.'
The time-delayed strategy was initially motivated by a student who asked for help. The use of a multi-choice test for assessment was prompted by the need to reduce the amount of marking time and to identify students who plagiarise others' work.
The purpose of the strategy is to encourage students to apply their knowledge to the problems that they have been given in the multi-choice test. It also provides useful evidence on which to base feedback to students so that they can improve their learning.
A time delayed approach is applied to an online multi-choice test on computer program development techniques. For the first hour of the test, students are encouraged to draw solution diagrams from scratch before being provided with alternative diagram solutions as part of the online multi-choice test questions.
Students have not commented in a positive or negative way on the time-delayed approach. There are mixed responses from colleagues in relation to the use of multi-choice testing. Some colleagues are very enthusiastic about the time delay strategy.