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More Evidence on the Use of Constructed-Response Questions in Principles of Economics Classes

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  • W. Robert Reed

    () (University of Canterbury)

  • Stephen Hickson

    () (University of Canterbury)

Abstract

This study provides evidence that constructed response (CR) questions contribute information about student knowledge and understanding that is not contained in multiple choice questions (MC). We use an extensive data set of individual assessment results from Introductory Macro- and Microeconomics classes at a large, public university. We find that (i) CR scores contain information not contained in MC questions, (ii) this information is correlated with a measure of student knowledge and understanding of course material, and (iii) CR questions are better able to ‘explain’ academic achievement in other courses than additional MC questions. There is some evidence to suggest that this greater explanatory power has to do with the ability of CR questions to measure higher-level learning as characterised by Bloom’s taxonomy (Bloom, 1956). Both (i) the generalisability of our results to other principles of economics classes, and (ii) the practical significance (in terms of students’ grades) of our findings, remain to be determined.

Suggested Citation

  • W. Robert Reed & Stephen Hickson, 2011. "More Evidence on the Use of Constructed-Response Questions in Principles of Economics Classes," International Review of Economic Education, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 10(2), pages 28-49.
  • Handle: RePEc:che:ireepp:v:10:y:2011:i:2:p:28-49
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    File URL: http://economicsnetwork.ac.uk/iree/v10n2/hickson.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Randall Krieg & Bulent Uyar, 2001. "Student performance in business and economics statistics: Does exam structure matter?," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 25(2), pages 229-241, June.
    2. 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 348-357, December.
    3. 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 193-196, May.
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    JEL classification:

    • A22 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Undergraduate

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