Multiple-choice is the right choice
Multiple-choice tests are valuable teaching tools for large introductory courses
On October 2nd, my fellow columnist Jared Fogel argued University professors should reduce their use of multiple-choice exams. He criticized the test format for preventing professors from effectively judging students’ understanding of the material, eliminating the possibility of partial credit for students whose work is nearly correct and causing students to feel less obligated to study. While these criticisms are valid for some administrations of multiple-choice tests, I disagree that these are inherent drawbacks of the format that recommend against its use. Multiple-choice exams are a valuable feature of many introductory courses at the University.
While I agree with Fogel on the importance of professors promoting a “deeper understanding of material,” I object to his assumption that multiple-choice tests are never a vehicle to achieve that goal.