n South African Computer Journal - An in-depth view of MCQ-based testing in Information Systems

Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1015-7999
  • E-ISSN: 2313-7835



To cope with growing student numbers and high faculty-to-student ratios, most introductory Information Systems courses use Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) to examine large parts of the curriculum. An in-depth review of first year Information Systems examination papers across five South African universities revealed that the majority of these MCQ question papers test student recall of factual knowledge, with only a few questions going to the deeper level of conceptual understanding OR application. This paper further reports on work done towards developing MCQs that allow for both the development and assessment of deeper levels of cognitive ability (as defined in Bloom's Taxonomy). Results suggest that carefully constructed MCQ's have the potential to enable valid and reliable assessment of depth of understanding by information systems students whilst supporting manageability through automated marking.

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