Overview of Testing and Grading Issues

Testing and grading are important aspects of course design and implementation. Testing and grading are linked to the learning objectives of a course and provide ways of gauging student learning. The websites in this section address frequently asked questions about this topic, offer suggestions for constructing exams and test items, and describe measurement methods.


Basics of Testing and Measurement

CRLT Occasional Paper #24: Best Practices for Designing and Grading Exams (Piontek, 2008)
This CRLT Occasional Paper provides an overview of the science of developing valid and reliable exams, especially multiple-choice and essay items. Additionally, the paper describes key issues related to grading: holistic and trait-analytic rubrics, and normative and criterion grading systems.

Assess Students: Rubrics (University of Texas)
Grade student writing assignments more efficiently by using a rubric; includes examples of rubrics for a variety of assignments, including oral presentation, critical thinking exercise, writing essays, and case studies.

IDEA Paper #16: Improving Multiple Choice Questions (IDEA Center, Clegg & Cashin, 1986)
A very clear, concise overview of the advantages and drawbacks of multiple choice questions, along with a step-by-step guide for item construction.

Improving Multiple Choice Questions (University of North Carolina, 1990)
Another overview with a more narrative approach to multiple choice question design, this paper also offers a discussion of analyzing questions for the effectiveness and gives examples of questions designed to test higher level thinking skills.

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