Writing Good Multiple Choice Questions

Thursday, January 31, 2019
10:05 AM - 11:20 AM

Center for Teaching Excellence
Thomas Cooper Library, Room L511


Faculty and instructors often use exams with multiple-choice questions (MCQs) to assess student learning and streamline the grading process. However, many problems exist with these types of questions, in particular the difficulty in assessing higher level learning or deeper understanding when giving students an answer choice. Further, it can be daunting for instructors to write “good” questions that actually assess the students on what is intended.

How do instructors write good MCQs that ask students to do more than simply regurgitate facts and content? In this workshop we will explore the structure of MCQs along with their strengths and inherent weaknesses. Participants will learn how to create effective questions based on quality learning outcomes, with practice constructing both a good question (the stem) and appropriate (and fair) answer choices. We will also address common issues with multiple-choice exams and how instructors can use these exams as immediate feedback to evaluate their own instructional effectiveness.



Michelle Hardee
TA Training Program Manager
Center for Teaching Excellence

Michelle L. Hardee is the program manager for graduate student TA programs in the Center for Teaching Excellence. She received her Ph.D. in marine science from the University of South Carolina. Throughout her 19 year teaching career, Michelle has been actively involved in marine science education and teacher training. She taught throughout her graduate program, as an instructor at Coastal Carolina University and as an adjunct professor of geology at the College of Charleston, and is currently an instructor in the Marine Science Program at UofSC.