A study of the effect of an answer-until-correct multiple-choice procedure on mathematics achievement Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/6d5701142

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  • This investigation was designed to investigate the use of an answer-until-correct procedure on multiple-choice quizzes in an independent study mathematics course. This procedure was compared to the standard multiple-choice procedure with respect to student achievement, student anxiety, and test reliability. Using the answer-until-correct procedure students were made immediately aware of the correctness of each response they made. They continued marking alternatives on a problem until they found the correct answer. For this study, a diminishing scale of credit was assigned each question determined by the number of responses made finding the correct answer ranging from full credit on the first response to no credit on the fourth response. The tests were prepared using a chemical process which produced invisible images on the test which were brought to view by use of a special marker. When a student marked an alternative a "+" appeared if he was correct and a "0" appeared if he was wrong. Thirty-six students in an independent study algebra course were used in the first part of this study. During the first half of the Spring term, 1975, 15 of the students took four multiple-choice quizzes using the answer until correct procedure while 21 students took the same quizzes by the standard procedure. At the midterm the students in both groups took an open-ended objective examination to evaluate their achievement and responded to a five-point Likert-type scale which evaluated their anxiety toward the quizzing procedure they had used. The answer-until-correct group showed higher achievement and less anxiety than the standard group but neither difference was highly significant. To study the comparable reliabilities of the two testing formats, 44 students in another independent study algebra class were used. A midterm examination was developed for this course which had two 15 question sections. The first section contained open-ended objective questions while the second contained multiple-choice questions which paralleled in content and difficulty the first section. When taking the multiple-choice section, 20 students used the answer-until-correct procedure, while 24 students used the standard procedure. The reliability of each method was then found by calculating the correlation of each group's multiple-choice scores with their open-ended objective scores. While each testing format was reliable the difference between the reliabilities of the two formats was not significant. The major results of this study were: 1. The answer-until-correct procedure used on unit quizzes was slightly more effective as a teaching instrument than the standard multiple-choice procedure. 2. The answer-until-correct procedure used on unit quizzes produced slightly less anxiety toward testing than the standard multiple-choice procedure. 3. There was no significant difference in the reliabilities of multiple-choice tests when graded by an answer -until-correct or standard procedure. Two additional results came out of this study which were not related to the hypotheses tested. First, in scoring the open-ended tests used in the study, three different scorers were asked to grade the tests independently and then the mean of these three scores was used. A high variability occurred between the three scores assigned each student. The largest deviation between the high and low score assigned a given student was 53 points on a 200 point test. Second, in checking placement scores for this study it was found that students who elected to take intermediate algebra on an independent study basis scored significantly higher than those who elected to take it by a regular classroom basis.
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