The Impact of Assessment Format on Student and Evaluator Response in Physics Assessment, part I: A Literature Review

James Broberg 1 , Lei Bao 2

1 Department of Physics, Savannah State University, Savannah, Georgia 31404, United States
2 Department of Physics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, United States
*Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received: 2012-8-21 / Accepted: 2012-11-15 / Published: 2012-12-30

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Abstract The purpose of this paper will be to review the current literature studying the impact of assessment format in physics evaluation in order to arrive at a comprehensive picture of the results and effects of different assessment formats on academic performance. This picture shall be obtained by asking two separate questions of each assessment format, and will conclude with a bulleted list of the failures and successes of each assessment format in corresponding to the desired outcome for each question posed. This list shall be used as a guideline for future development of evaluation techniques, as the list of “pros” provide a description of the outcomes desired and the list of “cons” provide a description of the outcomes to be minimized. The two questions that shall organize the discussion and the model that it results in are the
following: (a) What is the impact of the assessment format on a student’s response?, and (b) what is the impact of the assessment format on the evaluator’s response? This paper shall consider the two most prevalent assessment formats, “multiple choice” and “free construction”, and subsequent papers will discuss the innovations and alternatives proposed to undercut the dichotomy between multiple choice and free construction while using this paper’s model as a guideline for directing progress.

Research Areas: Assessment