Penalize Incorrect Responses on Multiple-Choice Questions
When creating a test with multiple-choice questions, you can penalize incorrect responses to discourage random guessing. Students receive full credit for correct answers, no credit for questions they do not attempt, and a penalty for questions they answered incorrectly. This kind of penalty is often used on standardized tests.
To penalize incorrect responses:
- If necessary, change the allowed submissions for the question or assignment to 1.
Open the Conditional Points window.
From here Do this
From assignment settings (Assignment Editor, Assignment Templates Manager)
Under add or edit., click
From a single question (Assignment Editor)
In the Bonus or Penalty column, click add or edit.
- Under Select a Condition, select Assign a penalty for an incorrect answer.
Enter the penalty that should be applied to incorrect responses.
- If all of your questions have the same number of choices, you should apply the same penalty to each. For example, if all of your questions have five choices, you might want to deduct ¼ point for each incorrect response.
- If your questions have different numbers of choices, penalties should be
correlated to the number of choices for each question. The strategy used by many
standardized tests and online homework systems, such as the SAT and Mastering Physics,
is to deduct 100/(n-1) percent of the point value of the question, as
illustrated in the following table.
Number of answer choices (n)
This strategy means that guessing is beneficial to students if they can eliminate at least 2 choices, grade-neutral if they can eliminate only one choice, and detrimental if they cannot eliminate any choices.
If available, click Calculate Points
Breakdown. This feature is not available when editing
conditional points for assignment settings.
Review the displayed deductions for each number of submissions (the number of submissions should only be 1). If needed, change the penalty value and click Calculate Points Breakdown again.
When the conditional points settings are correct, update the assignment or
To update this Do this
A single question
Click Update Question.
All questions currently on the assignment
Click Update All Questions.
In the Assignment Editor or Assignment Templates Manager, click Update.
The Conditional Points window closes and your assignment or assignment template is updated.
The automatic bonus or penalty is applied immediately when your students submit answers that meet the specified conditions.