This document provides criteria to use when choosing and creating multiple-choice
questions. The criteria and principles for development of suitable questions
are applicable across programs of study.
Sample questions in this document
are repurposed multiple-choice questions from Social Studies 33 and Social
Studies diploma examination banks. Each sample question from the diploma
examination bank met the psychometric test standards established by Learner
Assessment. Also included are questions developed by teachers in a project
with the Central Alberta Regional Consortium and the Calgary
Sample questions include a rationale for selection and identify specific
learner outcomes correlated with the program of studies.
To align with the rationale and philosophy of the new program of studies,
sample questions were chosen according to these criteria.
- The question addresses and tests knowledge and understanding outcomes
and/or skills and processes outcomes in the program of studies.
- The question tests understandings and concepts rather than the recall
- In source-based questions, the focus is on analysis instead of recall;
that is, the focus is on skills that frame knowledge as purposeful (analysis)
rather than on skills that test knowable facts (recall).
Diploma examination bank questions that were applicable to the previous
Grade 12 program of studies were reviewed according to the program outcomes
for Social Studies 20-1 and 20-2. Both discrete questions (questions without
sources) and source-based questions are provided. Also included are sample
questions developed by teachers to meet the criteria for suitable questions.
The sample questions have been grouped into the following four categories.
- Category 1 questions met the criteria without changes to the stem or
distracters for use in the 20-1 and 20-2 sequences.
- Category 2 questions were revised to meet the criteria for use in the
20-1 and 20-2 sequences.
- Category 3 questions were rejected for use in the 20-1 and 20-2 sequences.
- Category 4 questions were developed by teachers for
use in the 30-1 and 30-2 sequences.
In the sample questions, an asterisk (*) indicates the correct answer.