Publications & Resources

Differential Effects of Question Formats in Math Assessment on Metacognition and Affect

Dec 1997

Harold F. O'Neil Jr. and Richard S. Brown

This study investigates the effect of question format on metacognitive and affective processes of children in the context of a large-scale mathematics assessment program. Mathematical items were presented in both multiple-choice and open-ended question formats to eighth-grade students (N = 1,032) as part of the California Learning Assessment System (CLAS). Metacognition and affect were measured following each format for males and females of various ethnic groups. Results indicate that open-ended and multiple-choice formats have differential effects. Open-ended questions induced more cognitive strategy usage, less self-checking, and greater worry than did multiple-choice questions. These effects did not vary substantially as a function of gender and ethnicity.

O’Neil, H. F. Jr., & Brown, R. S. (1997). Differential effects of question formats in math assessment on metacognition and affect (CSE Report 449). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).