Handbook for Teaching Introductory Psychology: With An Emphasis on Assessment - Vol. 3

By Richard A. Griggs | Go to book overview
Koch (Ed.), Psychology: A study of a science (Vol. 2, pp. 196–292). New York: McGraw-Hill.Smith, R. E. (1971). Humor, anxiety, and task performance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 19, 243–246.Smith, W. R, & Rockett, F. C. (1958). Test performance as a function of anxiety, instructor and instructions. Jouml of Educational Research, 52, 138–141.Thompson, S. C. (1981). Will it hurt less if I control it? A complex answer to a simple question. Psychological Bulletin, 90, 89—101.Wittmaier, B. C. (1976). Low test anxiety as a potential indicator of underachievement. Measurement and Evaluation in in 9, 146–151.
Notes
1. This research was partially funded by a York University Faculty of Arts Minor Research Grant to the second author.
2. The authors acknowledge the contributions of Demo Aliferis, Paul Chemabrow, Charlotte Copas, Myra Radzins, and Sara Persaud—our teaching assistants who graded all the tests and categorized the students' comments; and Dannielle Poirier and Lorraine Chiasson who coded the data. We also thank the Introductory Psychology students who were good enough to fill out the questionnaires.

Answer Justification: Removing the “Trick” From
Multiple-Choice Questions
David K. Dodd
Linda Leal
Eastern Illinois University

Students' perceptions that multiple-choice exams contain “trick” questions may contribute to test anxiety and lead them to view the instructor as an adversary rather than an advocate. Over the past several years, we have developed and used a technique called answer justification (AJ) that allows students to convert any multiple-choice item perceived as being “tricky” into a short-answer essay. While an earlier version of our manuscript was under journal review, Nield and Wintre (1986) described and evaluated a similar procedure. The purposes of this article are to compare and contrast our technique with that of Nield and Wintre, to present our own evaluation data, and to summarize the specific benefits of the technique for students and instructors.


Similarities and Differences

With both our technique and that of Nield and Wintre (1986), students have the opportunity to write a brief explanation of their answers for any multiple-choice question that is perceived to be ambiguous or confusing. Students select one “best” alternative and then explain their answer on the back of their answer sheet (Nield and Wintre's method) or on forms provided (our method). A convincing explanation earns credit for a missed question. The most fundamental difference between Nield and Wintre's (1986) technique and ours is that their students can also lose credit for a faulty explanation of a correct answer, whereas our students are not penalized.

We have evaluated our technique in introductory psychology courses (3 sections of 50 to 110 students each), a sophomore-junior level course in human-interaction skills (2 sections of 25 students each), and a junior-senior level course in prejudice and discrimination (35 students). Collectively, our analyses included 345 students and 17 different exam administrations, with exam length varying from 27 to 50 multiple-choice questions. From a total of 44, 370 opportunities to use AJ, students used it 505 times (1%). On a typical exam, 25% of the class used AJ; most of those using it did so only once (mode = 1, M = 1.9, range = 1 to 7). Scoring was unnecessary 67% of the time because the student had selected the correct alternative; of the remaining justifications, 24% received full credit, 6% partial credit, and 70% no credit. Justifications tended to be brief and easily scored; on a typical 50-item exam given to a class of 50 students, total scoring time, including modifications to grades, was about 20 min.

Nield and Wintre (1986) evaluated the usage of their technique on a sample of 416 introductory psychology students. Like us, they found usage to be between 1.5 and 2 times per user, and they also did not find the amount of extra grading to be excessive. Over the entire course, 41% of Nield and Wintre's students explained at least one answer, compared to 56% of our students. There are two probable explanations for our apparently higher usage rate: Most obviously, our students had nothing to lose by using AJ, whereas their students could be penalized for incorrect explanations. In addition, we were apparently more lenient in scoring. Among students who explained incorrect answers, 30% of our students received full or partial credit, whereas only 12% of their students received credit.


Evaluation

We administered a brief, anonymous questionnaire to our students near the end of the semester to evaluate satisfaction with the technique. Of 259 respondents, 94% “liked

-99-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Handbook for Teaching Introductory Psychology: With An Emphasis on Assessment - Vol. 3
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 257

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.