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Even the humble multi-choice question can be a powerful – and cheat-resistant – assessment. While we may not use these questions as our sole means of assessing student learning, they are undeniably efficient, especially for busy faculty.

Traditionally, we think of multiple-choice questions as quizzing students on facts and rewarding memorization. Besides, in the information age, aren’t answers to these sorts of questions readily available on the internet? But what if a multiple choice question asked students to perform analysis, or make judgments, on an example?

Many faculty have academic integrity concerns over online exams and quizzes, although there are plenty of ways to complicate cheating on those assessments. Meanwhile, despite our assumptions and best efforts, classroom exams are shockingly easy to cheat, and cheaters typically know where on the internet to go for tips. (We, um, won’t link those kinds of places here.)

But either online or in the classroom: what if the *questions* weren’t so easy to cheat? Better still, what if the questions challenged them to use higher-level skills in your discipline?

Here are some resources to help you consider how you might build more effective multiple-choice questions, to deploy alongside other kinds of assessments.

COLI has a short guide to making better multiple-choice questions.

Also see Eric Loepp’s recent article in Inside Higher Ed, “The Benefits of Higher-Order Multiple-Choice Tests.”

Submitted by: Tyler Kron-Piatek, academic technologist, COLI