A comparison of two forms of assessment in an introductory biology laboratory course

William H. Heyborne, Jennifer A. Clarke, Jamis J. Perrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Enrollment increases at many institutions have forced science faculty to reevaluate assessment decisions in light of increasing demands on time. Some have advocated the replacement of free-response examinations with forcedchoice examinations as a time-saving strategy. The existing research literature contains many studies comparing student performance on free-response versus forced-choice question types, but none strictly in a laboratory setting. The current study evaluated the replacement of free-response practicalexamination questions with multiple-choice practical-examination questions in the laboratory portion of an introductory college-level biology course. The data provide evidence that student performance does differ depending on format and that substituting one question type with another may have profound implications with regard to student performance and learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-31
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of college science teaching
Volume40
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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