Redesign test questions for open book format

Replace questions that simply recall facts with questions that require higher level cognitive skills, for example analysis and explanation of why and how students reached an answer. Look for opportunities for reflective questions based on students’ own experiences.

It is important to redesign the assessment tasks to authentically assess the learning outcomes in a way that is appropriate for this new mode of assessment.

More quick focused problem solving and analysis—conducted with restricted access to limited allocated resources—will now need to incorporate a student’s ability to demonstrate a more thoughtful research-based approach and/or the ability to negotiate understanding more complex problems, in some cases in an open book format.

Layers can be added to the problem/process and the inclusion of a reflective aspect can help achieve these goals, whether administered in an oral test or written examination format.

Example question Original format Alternative format, focusing on explanation

Example 1: Knowledge recall multiple choice or single correct answer

 

Original multiple choice question
The strongest and most resilient connective tissue is

 

A. adipose tissue
B. reticular connective tissue
C. fibrocartilage tissue
D. elastic connective tissue
E. areolar connective tissue

 

Original single correct question
What is the strongest and most resilient connective tissue?

Answer: fibrocartilage tissue

Alternative format 1
Why is fibrocartilage tissue the strongest and most resilient connective tissue?

 

 

Alternative format 2
Comparing adipose tissue and fibrocartilage tissue, discuss reasons for relative strength and resilience of these connective tissues.

Example 2: Analytic style multiple choice question or short answer

 

Original multiple choice question
In a study aimed at identifying factors associated with risk of developing dementia, a group of elderly people with a formal diagnosis of dementia were compared with a group of elderly people without dementia for a range of factors related to health, lifestyle and occupation. The patients with dementia were matched with those without dementia by age, sex and area of residence. Data collection was by interview. For the patients with severe dementia, where the dementia interfered with data collection, surrogates (usually a family member) assisted with data collection.

 

This study is a
A. Case-control study
B. Cohort study
C. Cross-sectional survey
D. Field study

 

 

Original single correct question
In a study aimed at identifying factors associated with risk of developing dementia, a group of elderly people with a formal diagnosis of dementia were compared with a group of elderly people without dementia for a range of factors related to health, lifestyle and occupation. The patients with dementia were matched with those without dementia by age, sex and area of residence. Data collection was by interview. For the patients with severe dementia, where the dementia interfered with data collection, surrogates (usually a family member) assisted with data collection.

What type of study is this?
Answer: case-control study

Alternative format: Easier
In a case-control study aimed at identifying factors associated with risk of developing dementia, a group of elderly people with a formal diagnosis of dementia were compared with a group of elderly people without dementia for a range of factors related to health, lifestyle and occupation. The patients with dementia were matched with those without dementia by age, sex and area of residence. Data collection was by interview. For the patients with severe dementia, where the dementia interfered with data collection, surrogates (usually a family member) assisted with data collection.

 

What makes this a case control study?

 

 

Alternative format: Harder
In a study aimed at identifying factors associated with risk of developing dementia, a group of elderly people with a formal diagnosis of dementia were compared with a group of elderly people without dementia for a range of factors related to health, lifestyle and occupation. The patients with dementia were matched with those without dementia by age, sex and area of residence. Data collection was by interview. For the patients with severe dementia, where the dementia interfered with data collection, surrogates (usually a family member) assisted with data collection.

What type of study is this? Why do you think this?

Acknowledgement: Deakin University and original multiple choice questions: Jennifer Lindley, Monash University.

See also