Multiple-choice questionnaires and the success of law students: Results of a preliminary evaluation

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Research and Development in Higher Education: Connections in Higher Education Vol. 35

July, 2012, 373 pages
Published by
N. Brown, S.M. Jones, & A. Adam
ISBN
0 908557 89 2
Abstract 

Multiple-choice questionnaires (MCQ) are rarely employed in legal education in Australia. However, MCQ have a long history of use among US legal academics and, more generally, their use as low-weight, formative assessment is relatively non-contentious. This paper presents an evaluation of a low-weight MCQ introduced into a criminal law unit in 2010 at the Law School, University of Tasmania. The impact of this MCQ on students’ end of semester exam results were analysed with (a) data spanning 2007-11 and a total of 786 students, (b) student success on the MCQ and (c) a survey of students’ perspectives of the MCQ (N=137). The paper suggests there is some evidence that the MCQ has promoted student success. However, the paper also explores difficulties in conducting evaluations of assessment; mixed method designs are recommended.

Keywords: multiple-choice questionnaire, evaluation, law 

Multiple-choice questionnaires and the success of law students: Results of a preliminary evaluation

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Prichard, Jeremy