By Patti Shank, PhD – June 24, 2019
Recently, on Twitter, someone argued that the only way to assess what people have learned/can do is through actual performance. But that’s not practical or even possible in many cases.
Learn The Best Way To Write Multiple-Choice Questions
We often have to make sure that people can perform as needed before we let them perform on the job. For example, we don’t want to find out that bank tellers cannot count out the correct amount when working with customers. We certainly don’t want to assess people’s ability to put out a fire at work by setting a fire and seeing what they can do.
Assessment often needs to be practical, but it must also give us the information we need. In situations like fires or hazardous waste spills, it’s common to assess a simulated performance instead of a real performance.
Research shows that multiple-choice questions can, when well-written, simulate performance, especially if we are asking about decisions and steps to take.
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