Month: October 2013

Research on multiple choice questions

Since my last posts on multiple choice questions (here and here), Kris Boulton and Joe Kirby have pointed me in the direction of Robert Bjork’s work on remembering and forgetting. Here’s an extract from a paper titled ‘Multiple-Choice Tests Exonerated, at Least of Some Charges: Fostering Test-Induced Learning and Avoiding Test-Induced Forgetting’. The authors accept… Read more »

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Tristram Hunt and The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists

As well as being the new Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Tristram Hunt is also the author of an excellent introduction to Penguin Modern Classics edition of The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists. Hunt has also written elsewhere about this novel and its author, Robert Tressell – in an article here for the Guardian and another one here on… Read more »

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Teaching content-rich lessons

I recently read this in a blog post by Doug Lemov. One of the challenges of Hirsch or Christodoulou if you’re a teacher is that many of the requisite actions–a curriculum that prizes and emphasizes knowledge development in a systematic way, are beyond the purview of the individual teacher. Those tend to be school- or… Read more »

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Multiple choice questions, part two

In my previous blog post I gave an example of what I thought was an excellent multiple choice question, taken from the British Columbia leaving exam. It’s as follows: 15. How did the Soviet totalitarian system under Stalin differ from that of Hitler and Mussolini? A. It built up armed forces. B. It took away… Read more »

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Closed questions and higher order thinking

I know that Andrew Old often writes about the way that open questions are often, wrongly, seen as superior to closed questions – ie, it’s seen as being better to ask pupils questions that have lengthy answers and many possible answers rather than those that only have one straightforward right answer. I think one of… Read more »

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