The Discrete Option Multiple Choice Test Item

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An Important Evolution in Test and Item Design

By David Foster

Introduction

The Discrete Option Multiple Choice question format (DOMC) may be one of the most important testing innovations our industry has experienced in several decades. Why would I make such a bold statement, particularly when there have been some wonderful innovations, such as computerized adaptive testing, the use of simulations in tests, new analyses to detect test fraud, and many others? Why might the DOMC item type rank among those? Here are a few good reasons:

  • DOMC uniquely prevents or deters many types of test fraud that are damaging every testing program.
  • DOMC promises a more accurate and useful test score, which is a common goal in all areas of testing. The better the test score, the better are the decisions that are based on that score.
  • DOMC saves money in test development and test security costs.
  • DOMC addresses many criticisms directed against traditional multiple choice questions.
  • DOMC counters the unfairness of some testing practices.

These and other benefits are explored in the Advantages section (Continue Reading…)

David Foster

President and CEO, Caveon Test Security