ERG SES H 12, Studies on Education
In the context of a large-scale Turkish examination system, numerous conflicts and disagreements occur in the process of establishing the best evaluation strategies that measure achievement of pupils’ pedagogical development and academic orientations. The strongest and most productive polemics held between educators and decision makers is about the necessity of reform in developing an effective exam format that ameliorates internal problems of conceptual understanding about evaluating student success, and is about the crises of traditional formats employed. Hence, this study investigates the problem from the perspectives of two different exam styles, multiple-choice (MC) and open-ended (OE). Interestingly, there is a contradictive comprehension among different government officials about these two exam types. Most people consider MC as traditional while consequences of uncertainty forces most others to believe that OE as more contemporary. The emergence of new movements is essential since existing country-wide MC exam is no longer efficient in this era for our millennium kids. On the other hand, are efforts which could be categorized as reform movements really alternatives of the MC approach?
Differential effect of question formats on metacognitive and affective processes of middle school students could be very heterogeneous and, according to course objectives, often diametrically opposite, but they all had one characteristic in common: one is not better than the other. As if one form is better than the other, without any pedagogical-theoretical praxis, rapid changes is about being made on the question format of the examination system in Turkey. Although frequent and sharp public, academic, and politic conflicts and discussions were held throughout the history, according to recent news (TRTNews, 2013; Vatan, 2013), Minister of National Education in Turkey has embarked by exposing to answer open-ended questions instead of multiple choice question formats. However, it seem to be important to note and warn officials that making this process, which gets its support from political courage of ignorance, effective without theoretical and scientific background will be another short-term change, and tendency of unprofessionalism. It should also be noted that a change in statewide examination type requires a great effort and reciprocal contribution of scientists with regard to “what really works” on large-scale examination system.
In this context, the question that arises is whether exam styles are alternatives to each other. There is a point to remember that no examination can be a sole determinant for a better and more accurate result in measuring achievement than the other. Almost all types of questioning formats have their own constraints; Multiple-choice, for example, causes a tendency for guessing or studying to the test rather than studying for the test. On the other hand, Open-ended formats techniques measure somewhat separable constructs. Each measurement technique requires different applications of cognitive strategies and learners, however, develop both cognitive and exam taking strategies congruent with the type of exam. In addition, there was a high tendency to assess achievement through the use of MC question types. MC concentrates on remembering, distinguishing, selecting, and so forth whereas OE focuses on understanding, explaining, justifying, and creating. In both question types, cognitive, metacognitive and affective constructs are seem to be related. For instance, self-checking and cognitive strategy had been selected an important aspect of metacognition because the development of individual’s capacity to think about how they learn through the process by being self-awareness can be reflected with these strategies. Moreover, worry and effort are seen as significantly important due to the fact that worry is important for having cognitive relation to affective experiences, and effort invested in a task is highly related the affective predictions and success in this task.
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