THE STUDENTS’ PERCEPTIONS: ESSAY VERSUS MULTIPLE-CHOICE TYPE EXAMS

TitleTHE STUDENTS’ PERCEPTIONS: ESSAY VERSUS MULTIPLE-CHOICE TYPE EXAMS
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsTozoglu, D, Tozoglu, MD, Gurses, A, Dogar, C
JournalJournal of Baltic Science Education
Volume3
Issue2
Start Page52-59
Date PublishedMarch/2003
Type of ArticleOriginal article
ISSN1648-3898
Keywordsessay exams, multiple choice exams, test attitudes, test format
Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine students’ perceptions toward essay versus multiple-choice exams. Fifty students from a science education department participated in this study. Overall student-rating data revealed that students showed significantly (p<0.001) more favorable attitudes towards multiple choice test format compared to essay type formats in terms of the most critical dimensions assessed. These findings suggest that student perceptions should be taken into consideration while planning and constructing classroom testing. Suggestions for future research and implications for having students’ perceptions are also discussed.
Students are the most affected by the educational testing. Therefore, teachers and measurement specialists should take into consideration of students’ attitudes and perceptions regarding test formats, because they are good sources of information about a test’s face validity besides its content, construct, and predictive validity. It is important to have evidence for face validity of the tests developed by the teachers from the students’ critical perspectives.
Feedback from the students on various components or facets of classroom tests is valuable source of information, because their perspectives affect test preparation behavior, student cooperation and test motivation during the exam, and influence the level of test performance and attainment on the exam (Zeidner, 1987). If students have a positive tendency toward a particular test format, the possibility of student cooperation, teacher-student rapport, and test motivation would be enhanced, while aversive emotional reactions and harmful motivational tempers would be lessened.
Since students had strong preference for multiple choice over essay type formats in this study, teachers should pay attention and give careful consideration and weight to the multiple choice format, when they are initially planning a classroom test and deciding appropriated item format in a previously planned test.

Refereed DesignationRefereed