Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) Project

Guide for students to interpret test results

Overview for Instructors and Teaching Assistants

The MCQ Project is being developed by George Stetten to aid in testing several required undergraduate courses in the Bionegineering Department at the University of Pittsburgh, including BioE 1310 and BioE 1330.

A paper about the project in the ASEE regional conference can be downloaded here.

A standard format is being developed for Multiple Choice Question (.mcq) files and Multiple Choice Test (.mct) files, each of which contains LaTeX components and special comments interpreted by custom programs being developed in Java that produce tests as .pdf files in which multiple choice questions are printed in randomized orders.

A simple example of a .mcq file can be downloaded and edited here.

A second exmaple of a .mcq file including math notation can be seen here, with the corresponding .pdf file here.

Related software has been developed to print and read simple "bubble sheets," in particular using a one-page format for daily quizzes containing 3 multiple-choice questions, randomized in the order of the answers to discourage copying from your neighbor. The quizzes are printed on ordinary 8.5 x 11" paper and can be fed through a standard scanner to be interpretted and automatically scored, generating an Excel spreadsheet and individual emails to each student detailing the results.

Comprehensive lists of math symbols in LaTeX can be downloaded here and here

Viewing your .mcq questions

If you don't have a LaTex compiler installed on your computer, you can see how your questions look by going to the website


cutting and pasting the text from

One Question Formatter

into the window, and then adding individual sections from your .mcq file text in the indicated place in that text.

There is also a nice online system for converting equations, etc., to see how they look,

Then push "submit" and a .pdf should come your way. It won't have the formatted question numbers, etc., but is sufficient to see that your text and equations are working. Attached illustrations can't be tested this way.

A quick way to create equations in LaTex without having to look up all the symbles is with this online LaTex Equation generatoror you can use the webpage here.

Getting your scantronic forms graded (No longer required, since we scan them ourselves)

The office is located in G33 Cathedral of Learning. They have blank bubble sheets available there for pickup. Once you arrive, you fill out a brief "request for scanning service" form with info about our department, the course, and your contact information. I also add a note that I want to get the answer data saved as a text file to my USB key, which I provide the next day after the tests are scored. Since we are doing the grade analysis ourselves, I have been submitting the forms as a "questionnaire" (rather than as a test with an answer key). More info is here