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Experiments in the use of multiple-choice examinations for electromagnetics-related topics

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1 Author(s)
P. S. Excell ; Dept. of Electron. Imaging & Media Commun., Bradford Univ., UK

The results of experimental usages of multiple-choice examinations for topics in electromagnetic compatibility, basic electromagnetics, and optics are reported. A novel technique to prevent students from gaining marks by random answers, the “stupid answer” method, was tested in one of the experiments and found to give good results. It was found that the mark distributions were comparable with those achieved by the same groups of students in traditional examinations and there appeared to be a good correlation with the abilities of the students, as measured in the traditional way. Fears that the examination would be too superficial and that students would easily score high marks proved groundless. It is suggested that, although the method has the possible disadvantage that it is not possible to pursue a problem in depth, it has several advantages, in particular in being able to cover the whole of the syllabus. When marked by computer, the method is inherently anonymous. A dramatic saving in the number of skilled person-hours required for marking was effected and there is also a potential for a significant saving in the number of person-hours required for the setting of questions

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Education  (Volume:43 ,  Issue: 3 )