Evolution of Test Items: From Open-ended to Multiple-Choice


  • Mary A Sadowski Purdue University
  • Sheryl A Sorby University of Cincinnati


Grading is often a faculty member’s least favorite chore, especially in engineering where open-ended problems prevail. For this reason, multiple-choice test items could be a popular alternative for assessing learning and understanding. In addition, most Learning Management Systems allow the instructor to cre¬ate multiple-choice questions to be scored automatically by the system. The use of multiple-choice items in engineering graphics education could increase efficiency, allowing instructors to focus on other aspects of their teaching rather than spending significant time grading open-ended problems. The authors of this paper have been involved in a project to develop a Concept Inventory for Engineering Graphics over the past several years. Since Concept Inventories typically consist of multiple-choice items, development of this instrument was reliant on the creation of numerous valid and reliable items. This paper will focus on the process employed in multiple-choice item creation with application to engineering graphics. The process will be illustrated through demonstration of item evolution through several iterations.



Feature Articles