International Handbook of Research in Medical Education

Volume 7 of the series Springer International Handbooks of Education pp 647-672

Assessment of Knowledge with Written Test Forms

  • Steven M. DowningAffiliated withUniversity of Illinois at Chicago

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Written or computer-based assessment is the most appropriate modality to test cognitive knowledge. Two major classes of written assessment are discussed in this chapter: selected-response and constructed-response formats. Multiple-choice (MCQ), matching and extended matching, true false, multiple-true false and alternate-choice items are examples of the selected-response format. Long and short essays, very short essays, modified essay questions and written simulations, such as computer simulations, are examples of constructed-response formats. These assessment forms are critically evaluated in terms of their strengths, limitations, appropriateness, efficiency, research basis, psychometric properties, and validity evidence.