Mary McGee Wood - Assessment and Feedback - Training and Consultancy

The matrix

One of the most common unneccessary limits in assessment design - as in many other areas - is the acceptance of stereotyped associations between what are really independent characteristics. The conflation of selected with objective answers is a prime example.

One of my favourite tools for thinking about complex spaces like assessment and feedback is an empty matrix. It can force one to unpick the different parameters describing a particular question type, and to recognise when standard question or assessment types in fact represent a fairly large number of distinct issues bundled into named packages in somewhat arbitrary ways.

Think about answers this way:

selectedconstructed
objective
(factual)
subjective
(opinion)

How difficult is it to populate all four cells of the matrix with equally straightforward question types?

This sort of matrix is a standard tool in my workshops on assessment and question design.