EFFECT OF NON-FUNCTIONING DISTRACTORS ON DIFFICULTY INDEX OF MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS FOR FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT OF STUDENTS AT REHMAN MEDICAL COLLEGE, PESHAWAR PAKISTAN
Keywords:Education, Medical, Undergraduate; Item Analysis; Distractor Analysis; Knowledge; Learning
Introduction: Construction of proper MCQs form the basis of effective assessment. Strong distractors help to increase the value of the MCQ; hence the presence of Non-Functional Distractors (NFD) reduces the assessment potential of such questions. The present study was conducted to determine the effect of Non-Functioning distractors on Difficulty Index based on a Physiology MCQ internal assessment of 1st Professional MBBS class of Rehman Medical College (RMC), Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.
Materials & Methods: The descriptive study was conducted in November 2015 on the Physiology Theory Test performance of 100 First Professional MBBS students of RMC, Peshawar. The study included 50 one-best type MCQs; these were marked manually based on the keys provided and analyzed by MS Excel 2013. Students were categorized by top and bottom 27%; Difficulty Index (P) was calculated, Distractor analysis was done, and NFDs were identified. NFD and P were correlated by Pearsonâ€™s r, using SPSS 15.0, keeping pâ‰¤0.05 as significant.
Results: Out of the 50 MCQs, 58% were of average difficulty, 22% were difficult, and 20% were easy; 26% MCQs had 0 NFDs, 20% had 01 NFDs, 38% had 02 NFDs, 14% had 03 NFDs and 2% MCQs had 04 NFDs. The Easy MCQs had 3 NFD in 60% items, the Average MCQs had 2 NFDs in 45% items, and the Difficult MCQs had 0 NFDs in 45% items. Pearsonâ€™s r showed significant positive correlation between NFDs and P (r=0.576, p<0.001, r2=0.333).
Conclusion: Non-Functioning Distractors had a significant effect on the Difficulty Index of MCQs and can be factors determining overall examination performance of students.