Constructed-response versus multiple choice: the impact on performance in combination with gender
AbstractThis paper addresses the question of whether the increasing use of multiple-choice questions will favour particular student groups, i.e. male or female students. This paper empirically examines the existence of a gender effect by comparing the relative performance of male and female students in both multiple-choice and constructed-response questions in financial accounting examinations. The study is motivated by the increasing number of students in accounting classes; changes in the gender mix in accounting classes and debates over appropriate means of assessment. We find that female students outperform male students in answering questions of both formats, but their superiority in multiple-choice questions is diminished in comparison with constructed-response questions. This might suggest that multiple choice questions favour male students more than female students. The results hold even if we restrict the comparison to multiple-choice and constructed-response questions having the same general content (e.g. exercise type). Furthermore, the diminishing result was found both for undergraduate and postgraduate students. These results should prompt those involved in assessment to be cautious in planning the type of assessment used in evaluating students.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration in its series Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium with number 12/777.
Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Gender; accounting; assessment; multiple-choice questions;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-05-22 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEM-2012-05-22 (Demographic Economics)
- NEP-EDU-2012-05-22 (Education)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Becker, William E & Johnston, Carol, 1999. "The Relationship between Multiple Choice and Essay Response Questions in Assessing Economics Understanding," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 75(231), pages 348-57, December.
- Walstad, William B & Becker, William E, 1994. "Achievement Differences on Multiple-Choice and Essay Tests in Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 193-96, May.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Nathalie Verhaeghe).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.