Student and Staff Perceptions of the Use of Multiple Choice Testing in Higher Education Assessments

Kay Penny
Edinburgh Napier University, United Kingdom

Jacqueline Brodie
Edinburgh Napier University, United Kingdom


Multiple choice questions (MCQs) are commonly used in higher education assessments and their use has increased alongside the availability of information and computer technology. Online MCQ testing is often considered an option to help deal with increasing numbers of students on distance learning and work-based learning.By their nature, MCQs are not usually considered to encourage deep learning, however, students who do participate in online self-assessment often demonstrate improved academic performance compared to those who do not participate, and even students with low motivation levels often make use of online MCQ tools.The aim of this paper is to present the perceptions of both the lecturing staff and students on the use of MCQs in higher education and to summarise the viewpoints and opinions of their usefulness to give both formative and summative feedback.

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