Live Blogging from a faculty workshop

Dean Guernsey at Albany Law School gave a talk today to the faculty on Multiple Choice Testing in Law School. (Click here for the PowerPoint presentation.)

Why is multiple choice testing important in law schoool?

The bar exam includes multiple choice questions.  There are 50 multiple choice question on the NYS (MBE) bar exam.  There are 200 multiple choice questions on the MPRE (Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam).

What should be in good multiple choice questions (according to the National Conference of Bar Examiners):

  • Compact facts
  • all necessary facts
  • names associated with roles
  • no facts in answers
  • parallel options
  • only 4 options
  • stagger keys
  • distractors need to be plausible

What should be avoided:

  • stand out keys
  • double negatives
  • always or never
  • none of the above
  • all of the above
  • value judgments
  • stand out keys

According to Dean Guernsey, assessment in his Evidence course consists of:

  • 5 multiple choice pop quizzes  – they don’t count but are gone over in class
  • Mid-term is 100% is multiple choice – 50 min
  • Final Exam is 30% is multiple choice – 3 hrs

Tests should reflect what has been taught in class!

Dean Guernsey’s tests are open book.  However, if they don’t know the material, they will not have enough time to answer the questions.

The hardest part to giving multiple choice test – Being creative, coming up with ideas for writing questions…

What can you do to make it easier:

  • Use the Internet
  • Search Lexis, Westlaw
  • Check out the Law Prof Blogs
  • Search Google
  • Work with another professor

So how does this topic integrate with technology?

If multiple choice testing is implemented in law school classes, there are several technology tools available to professors instead of using the traditional  paper option:

  • Student Response Systems or Clickers
  • Customized Polling in TWEN
  • CALI’s Instapoll
  • Quizzes in TWEN


customizing polling inTWEN

CALI's instapoll

TWEN quizzes



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