Critical Thinking

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Techniques for Writing Multiple-Choice Items that Demand Critical Thinking ·Premise - Consequence
Analogy
Case Study
Incomplete Scenario
Problem/Solution Evaluation

Premise - Consequence
Students must identify the correct outcome of a given circumstance. Example: If nominal gross national product (GNP) increases at a rate of 10% per year and the GNP deflator increases at 8% per year, then real GNP: a) Remains constant.

b) Rises by 10%.
c) Falls by 8%.
d) Rises by 2%.
Note: To increase the difficulty, provide more than one premise. [Top]

Analogy
Students must map the relationship between two items into a different context: Example: E-mail is to an unmoderated listserv as office hours are to: a) Class lecture.
b) Class discussion.
c) Review sessions.
d) Tutorials.
[Top]

Case Study
A single, well-written paragraph can provide material for several follow-up questions. Example:
Alice, Barbara, and Charles own a small business: the Chock-Full-o-Goodness Cookie Company. Because Charles has many outside commitments and Barbara has a few, Alice tends to be most in touch with the daily operations of Chock-Full-o-Goodness. As a result, when financial decisions come down to a vote at their monthly meeting, they have decided that Alice gets 8 votes, Barbara gets 7, and Charles gets 2-with 9 being required to make the decision. According to minimum-resource coalition theory, who is most likely to be courted for their vote? a) Alice

b) Barbara
c) Charles
d) No trend toward any specific person.
In the scenario in question 1, according to minimum-power coalition theory, who is most likely to be courted for their vote? a) Alice
b) Barbara
c) Charles
d) No trend toward any specific person.
[Top]

Incomplete Scenario
Students must respond to what is missing or needs to be changed within a provided scenario. Note: when using a graph or image, try to lay it out differently than how the students have seen it. This is...
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