Online MCQ - formative or summative assessment? : experiences from a higher educational environment
Within the field of Higher Education there has been a growing interest in formative assessment. A range of online tools for multiple choice questions (MCQ) are often made available to academic staff, but the extent and level of use of such tools vary greatly. This paper is based on an empirical investigation of actual use and attitudes of lecturers towards a particular MCQ tool both for formative and for summative assessment. We use Draper’s categorization of MCQ use as a conceptual lens for the study. The research methodology is interpretive, with interviews and diaries forming the main source of empirical data. The findings from the data set suggest that many lecturers are openly resisting the tool, while those who do use the tool do so predominantly to support formative assessment and thereby encourage their students to develop higher-order learning skills.