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Writing Multiple Choice Questions
We have been introduced to writing these problems, I believe to better understand them, a lot lately in class. There are at least two assignments in moodle chapter 9 that ask to think about writing or reflection on MC questions. It is my understanding that we will also be expected to, upon doing our poetry for this semester, we will also have to write and present a few multiple choice questions of our own. I have done the assignments on moodle. Honestly, I’m afraid I got the answer wrong on my own problem. Perhaps I didn’t spend enough time with the poem, or was trying too hard to not ask questions like those who already answered the prompt.
I was also a little worried about writing a successful multiple choice question going in to the activity. Often, when answering multiple choice questions, it can take some critical thinking to figure out the right answer, so I was a little apprehensive about writing a question that was complex enough to require critical thinking. However, it made me read the poem much more closely, and the activity itself still helped me to answer multiple choice questions. I liked the activity as a way to not only get more experience answering questions, but also with a thorough explanation of the answer. It was a nice break from the typical multiple choice of each chapter, because although they are helpful practice, it can get a little repetitive to do over and over, even with a new poem each time. The activity that asked us to leave advice/strategies for answering multiple choice was also interesting and helpful, because it raised my attention to strategies that other people use, but also made me reflect on my thought process as I answer questions, because I hadn't really considered it before. Hopefully that type of thinking will help my success with multiple choice in the future.
I think writing our own multiple choice questions can be slightly misleading. As someone who took not only the SAT but the ACT as well, I like many others have come across my fair share of reading comprehension multiple choice sections. With this in mind, I feel like writing multiple choice questions should be fairly easy-- I should be able to think about examples from previous tests and try to base my own questions off of these. Instead, writing a well crafted multiple choice question like the ones we've been working with in class seems more difficult than I originally thought. The multiple choice questions we've analyzed as a group seem much more complex than any I could write on my own. This might be because some of the answers listed underneath the question are/have words that are completely foreign to me. I feel as though any multiple choice questions I write may be easier than those given on the exam in May because of such lack of knowledge, and therefore could not be beneficial to my other classmates.
I agree with some of the points presented here, like how I could get my own question wrong or the fear of my questions being too simple. However, I do think that doing this exercise is extremely helpful. Even if my own questions are too easy or I get them wrong, I know that other members of the class can help me adjust them to a more appropriate difficulty level or help me to understand why my answer was wrong. If this activity was done all on our own it would be a different story. Because of the class involvement, I'm really enjoying these practice questions and they're making more sense to me than they used to. On top of that, the practice questions we do in class with Chisnell have been helping me in writing my own. When I'm able to see exactly why some options are wrong and others are right, I'm able to transfer that knowledge over into writing my own questions.
I agree with Grace that although this activity is rather intimidating, it is still extremely helpful in making me more aware of just how much analysis goes into determining even one answer in the multiple choice section. Another thing that I find interesting in doing these activities and analysing the poems in class is how there seems to be a formula for writing good multiple choice questions that challenge the reader to think deeping. The main one that comes to my mind is the ones with the roman numerals and the question is something like "the tone of this poem could be described as..." The way that these questions are laid out (III only, both II and III) has always been difficult for me to grapple with. I am someone who prides myself in the ability to finish timed tests and work through questions efficiently, so lately in class when we have spent 30-40 minutes talking about a single question like this, I find myself wondering how applicable this would be on, say, an AP exam. I definitely understand the intention of being analytical and weighing all options equally, but when I am trying to finish 50 other questions on the test, it simply seems inefficient to go back and forth between the text and each answer to the question given in order to discern one that might fit. Does anyone else feel the same? I like doing the activities in class, but am just worried as to how the lengthy strategic planning of answers is going to translate in the real, timed test world.
When working on the MC, I certainly spent the most time on it out any of the other assignments for the very same reason that I was afraid to get my own answer wrong. My problem though was that I knew what I wanted to be right, but did not know what I wanted to be wrong. So, I could keep coming up with themes from the poem, but when I could throw together a random set of words that created a theme, I could find a way to always somehow fit them in.
Personally I found it really hard to write multiple choice questions. Thankfully I've been doing pretty good on the in-class multiple choice assessments, but online on Moodle is a completely different story. I've been getting really bad grades on a lot of the multiple choice quizzes where you have to read a poem or a reading and then answer the questions after. Maybe having the questions online and not right in front of me is tripping me up, I’m not sure, all I know if that I found it really difficult to then write questions. I found myself writing questions that were way too simple to even be considered for an AP exam. I also found myself writing answers that made the correct answer way too obvious. Does anyone else have this issue? Anyone else find paper multiple choice assessments easier than the online Moodle quizzes?
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