CDTA11063 | Assessment and Feedback
Designing MCQ assessments that require higher-order thinking and reasoning skills (Webinar)
For NUS Staff
Credit Hours: 3.00
Fee: Free
No Available Class

A frequent criticism of multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and other objectively scored assessments is that they only test factual knowledge and not conceptual understanding, which makes use of MCQs problematic in the context of online education. While most educators recognise the importance of testing definitions, concepts and principles in recall-type questions, assessment tasks should also challenge students to think critically about the knowledge learnt and to be able to analyse, interpret and apply knowledge in different contexts. This session will support colleagues in designing objectively scored assessments that require students to apply higher-order thinking and reasoning skills by presenting the use of two-tier MCQs, an extended type of MCQs with a second tier that requires students to provide or identify a rationale or explanation for their choice. We will proceed by introducing the notion of a test specification, which helps in planning and to ensure that the test objectives are met. Participants will have the opportunity to write test items related to two-tier MCQs with reference to a suggested guide.

Intended Learning Outcomes

At the end of this session...

  • use test specification in assessment planning
  • construct MCQs and two-tier MCQs with a focus on higher-order thinking skills


Adrian LEE, Deputy Director, CDTL
Mark GAN, Associate Director, CDTL


Offered by the Centre for Development of Teaching & Learning (CDTL)