Confidence-weighted Multiple Choice Questions for Formative and Summative Assessment

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipient: Leanne Ramer, Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology

Project team: Carly Johnston, research assistant

Timeframe: September 2018 to April 2020

Funding: $6000

Courses addressed:

  • BPK 426 – Functional Human Neuroanatomy
  • BPK 326 – Functional Anatomy

Description: I want to find out whether confidence-weighted multiple choice testing can be used formatively and summatively to inform and/or improve student learning in upper level anatomy courses.

Questions addressed:

  • Does our form of confidence-weighted multiple choice improve students’ performance?
  • Do students perceive a benefit of confidence-weighted multiple choice testing for either their learning or their performance?
  • Can confidence-weighted multiple choice testing identify topics on which students are uninformed and/or misinformed to inform the topics covered in review sessions prior to exams?

Knowledge sharing: I plan to share my findings locally at seminars (e.g., Teaching Matters) and more broadly at SoTL Conferences (as well as through a manuscript submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal).

Nearly all universities rely heavily on multiple choice testing, particularly in the sciences. Their use remains contentious, and our findings on a possible improvement on (or unnecessary complication of) multiple choice testing will be of broad interest.