Multiple Choice Enhancement: An Update

Yesterday I wrote about using an enhanced Multiple Choice technique inspired by Blake Harvard and Andrew Kozlowsky.

The concept worked very well. I used this as an opening pre-assessment for my Civil Rights Unit. To implement the strategy students worked in 2-4 person small group stations to answer the questions and to then complete the graphic organizer. This small group setting allowed me to move amongst the groups and have mini-conferences while the students worked. I am very glad I did this because a few issues occurred right away.

  1. The Cutting Time! – My goodness! Some students took 20 minutes to cut out and tape/paste 8 multiple choice questions onto a piece of paper. Some misunderstood my directions and cut out only the question stem. Some students were did not have scissors and were not happy with tearing the paper. Some students with scissors were far more engaged with cutting exact lines than with engaging with the material.
    1. Lesson learned. I am now going to print the form with the question IN the graphic organizer. My fear was that students would get lazy and wait for the answer so that they didn’t have to complete more than 1 box.
  2. Students highlighted their answer choice –This worked pretty well and meant that I could see quickly which answer they had selected. It also meant that it was more difficult for them to change the answer after I gave them the correct choice.
  3. The Guess Work – A consistent problem I noticed was students that were not taking the time to think about the correct answer choices. In many cases a student guessed correctly. They drew a sketch or wrote a 4-5 word sentence explaining why they thought it was correct but did not take the time to investigate why the answer was correct.
    1. I don’t actually blame the students for this but poor Multiple Choice practice (mine included) in the past. They had been trained to get the correct answer and move on – even if it was just with guess work.
    2. The conferencing allowed me to discuss WHY it is so important to think more deeply about even the correct answer choices. Namely, that this same question won’t be on the next test and that they will need to understand the concept rather than just get lucky.
  4. More Sketch Room – I reworked the Graphic Organizer a bit so that students could draw better sketches. This mean condensing the bottom two incorrect answer rows into a single row. This is actually fine since I only have Multiple Choice tests with 3 distractor answer choices anyways.

Luckily I have a planning block after this first period so I quickly went back to the drawing board and tweaked the Enhanced Multiple Choice Graphic Organizer. This is made through a Google Doc so this has become a Template. I can just make a copy for the next quiz, add the new questions, and then make copies.

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