2.3.4 Multiple choice

The Multiple Choice question type is the most common form of question used in the OU's paper-based CMA system which was used by large numbers of modules in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s and remains in use today.

Typically the student is provided with a question and a range of possible answers and asked to choose one. The skill in writing multiple choice questions is in providing questions that expose misunderstanding of the materials under test such that suitable distractors can be written. The response to the distractors can then be used to provide remedial feedback to help students overcome their misunderstanding.

A problem with all forms of multiple choice questions is that students can guess the answer from the range of options provided. To discourage this various penalty mechanisms have been suggested to try and prevent students from simply guessing. In its current form Moodle allows the author to attach negative marks to options though most users at the OU do not use this facility and score the correct choice at 100% and incorrect choices at 0%.

2.56 The Question text, mark and General feedback

Question name: A descriptive name is sensible. This name will not be shown to students.

Question text: You may use the full functionality of the editor to state the question.

General feedback: We recommend the correctanswer be included in this box. The contents of this box will be shown to all students irrespective of whether their response was correct or incorrect.

2.57 The available choices

One or multiple answers? It is possible to use the Multiple choice question to create a Multiple response question that requires the student to choose multiple options. However marking these questions can become complex. If for example a correct response requires that options (a), (b) and (c) be chosen then each could be allocated 33.3% of the marks, but what marks are allocated to options (d), (e) and (f)? Should it be zero or a negative value; if the latter at what level, -33.3%, -100%? This can become difficult and because of this we strongly recommend that authors wishing to create Multiple Response questions use the OU Multiple Response question type which incorporates the mark schemes used in the original paper-based CMA system.

2.58 The Combined section
2.59 The multiple tries sections

Penalty for each incorrect try: The available mark is reduced by the penalty for second and subsequent tries. In the example above a correct answer at the second try will score 0.6666667 of the available marks and a correct answer at the third try will score 0.3333334 of the available marks.

Hint: You can complete as many of these boxes as you wish. If you wish to give the student three tries at a question you will need to provide two hints. At runtime when the hints are exhausted the question will finish and the student will be given the general feedback and the question score will be calculated.

Clear incorrect responses: When ‘Try again’ is clicked incorrect choices are cleared.

Show the number of correct responses: Include in the feedback a statement of how many choices are correct. Clearly this should not be used for questions with single choices.

2.3.5 OU multiple response