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Anna Greathead

Multiple Choice

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The multiple choice question is nothing new. It's always been an easy way to test knowledge as questions are necessarily straightforward and unambiguous. Learners have traditionally enjoyed them as they're perceived to be easy as sometimes the process of elimination, or sheer guess work, can get you a mark when your knowledge was shaky. 

In the age of the computer a multiple choice question becomes even more attractive - the questions can be presented on a screen and answered with a click. The computer can present questions in response to previous answers given and the computer can both mark each paper but also analyse the answers of a whole cohort to identify weak areas of knowledge (or even weak questions). Important exams now take place using this method. 

The ease of the MCQ exam though should not be the only consideration. Imagine this question:

"Describe the process of making an omelet"

If a learner had to use a few lines to answer in their own words they may well learn more effectively than if the question was as follows:

"Which of the following describes the process of making an omelet"

A. Break eggs, add milk, heat butter in a pan and then add the eggs. Stir for a few minutes until cooked. 

B. Break eggs and whisk. Melt butter in the microwave then add eggs and microwave for 2 minutes"

C. Separate eggs into yolk and white. Whisk whites until stiff then fold in yolks gently. Bake in a low oven for an hour"

D. Break and whisk eggs with milk. Heat butter in a frying pan. Add eggs, allow to cook before flipping. 

E. Break eggs carefully into a pan of boiling water. Leave to simmer for one minute then leave in hot water for 5 more."

Even someone who didn't know what an omelet was, but did know what scrambled eggs, poached eggs and meringue was, could guess the correct answer. 

In my EMA I want t investigate ways in which the benefits of the multiple choice question can be utilized whilst not sacrificing deep and broad learning. 

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Who puts milk in an omelette? It's just eggs, surely... and a pinch of salt. Some cheese is nice. No milk involved. tongueout

Anna Greathead

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Good point! Though I was more troubled by the fact that the system insisted on me spelling it omelet! I cannot abide the wavy red line so I retreat.... but even so! (And only a splash of milk! And mushrooms!)

Me in a rare cheerful mood

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No milk in mine, either.  That would be scrambled eggs (and never in a microwave for me, pretty please).  Black pepper, though.  And no whisking, just stir it with a fork.  And no flipping - just put the toppings on and fold one half over.

For a treat when I was off sick from school, my Mum would occasionally use method C (but fried, not baked into a soufflé) to make a super fluffy omelette.

You mention meringue - there's no meringue recipe in that list.  (Egg whites and sugar, in a very cool oven for many hours.)


Regarding the red wavy line, try right-clicking on the text and see if you get a Languages option.