An Investigation Into Objective Testing in Science in a Scottish Secondary School

Friel, Stephen (1976) An Investigation Into Objective Testing in Science in a Scottish Secondary School. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis surveys the literature on objective testing with particular reference to work done in the area of multiple choice testing. The history of the Objective Testing movement is traced from the intelligence tests constructed by Binet in France to the present day and includes a survey of the use of multiple choice tests in Science examinations in British schools today. The experimental work in the thesis was carried out on first and second year pupils in a comprehensive school who were following the Integrated Science Syllabus. Several aspects of the use of multiple choice tests were investigated beginning with an examination of the effect of changing initial responses on multiple choice tests. It was found that pupils gained marks by making these changes more often than they lost marks. This was found to be true for both boys and girls. To investigate the effect of rearranging the responses within a multiple choice test three rearrangements of items were made and the results of the rearranged test compared with the original test. The following rearrangements were investigated (a) Reversing the order of the distractors while keeping the key in the same position; (b) Placing the key in one of the last two positions in a five choice item, when previously it had been in one of the first three positions; (c) Altering the position of the most plausible distractor to a position immediately before the key. No significant results were obtained except when the most plausible distractor was placed immediately before the key. To investigate the effect of item arrangement within multiple choice tests, two forms of the same test were constructed, one having the items arranged in the easy to difficult order and the other having the items arranged in the difficult to easy order. The marks were slightly higher for the difficult to easy form of the test. A preliminary investigation, into a scoring method which allowed for partial knowledge, was carried out and the results suggested that it may he possible to adopt it for use in schools.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Science education, Educational tests & measurements, Curriculum development
Date of Award: 1976
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1976-78727
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2020 12:09
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2020 12:09

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