This is Only a Test: A Machine-graded Improvement to the Multiple-Choice and True-False Examination

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The primary goal of teaching is to successfully facilitate learning. Testing can help accomplish this goal in two ways. First, testing can provide a powerful motivation for students to prepare when they perceive that the effort involved leads to valued outcomes. Second, testing can provide instructors with valuable feedback on whether their teaching resulted in the learning desired. It is in the process of creating test questions that the test's value is determined. After reviewing the different types of questions available to educators, we introduce a new approach that can improve the nature of testing. We report on the use of this approach and provide preliminary analysis of its impact in the classroom. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of this approach as well as recommendations for its future development and use in academia.

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