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Designing online MCQ assessments in alignment with Bloom’s Taxonomy

Author: CIECT

The iKamva platform can be utilised for both formative and summative assessments by making use of various eTools

The iKamva platform can be utilised for both formative and summative assessments by making use of various eTools.  The Tests & Quizzes eTool allows for a variety of question types, including Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs).  The MCQ type can be used to assess students’ knowledge, understanding, skills and abilities by incorporating lower, middle and higher order thinking questions, as set out in Bloom’s Taxonomy. MCQs designed in this manner, should allow for effective evaluation of students’ assimilation and comprehension of course content.  


MCQs require that students select one or multiple correct answers from a list of choices. An effectively designed MCQ test should challenge students’ cognitive processes (levels of thinking); and can be further developed to allow for randomisation and the integration of question banks. 


Question banks can be set up to differentiate between concepts, themes and sections; and a set number of questions can be randomly drawn from the pool. This will ensure that each student’s assessment varies. This form of assessment has been used by lecturers at UWC across disciplines as both formative and summative assessment.  If appropriately constructed, MCQs can assess performance at ‘higher order levels of thinking’. However, the onus is on the subject-matter expert to consider effective design aimed at targeting various cognitive levels as set out in Bloom’s Taxonomy (Tiemeier, Stacy & Burke, 2011: 1).

Contact the CIECT Team to assist in the design and development of online formative and summative assessments.

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