SANGWIN, C.J. and JONES, I., 2016. Asymmetry in student achievement on multiple-choice and constructed-response items in reversible mathematics processes. Educational Studies in Mathematics, forthcoming.
In this paper we report the results of an experiment designed to test
the hypothesis that when faced with a question involving the inverse direction
of a reversible mathematical process, students solve a multiple-choice version by
verifying the answers presented to them by the direct method, not by undertaking
the actual inverse calculation. Participants responded to an online test contain-
ing equivalent multiple-choice and constructed-response items in two reversible
algebraic techniques: factor/expand and solve/verify. The ndings supported this
hypothesis: Overall scores were higher in the multiple-choice condition compared
to the constructed-response condition, but this advantage was significantly greater
for items concerning the inverse direction of reversible processes compared to those
involving direct processes.