"Essay questions are supply or constructed response type questions and can be the best way to measure the students' higher order thinking skills, such as applying, organizing, synthesizing, integrating, evaluating, or projecting - while at the same time providing a measure of writing skills." Alabama Professional Development Modules.
Determine the level at which thinking is to be assessed (refer to your objectives and instructional methods). Then design the questions, based on objectives and standards. Alabama Professional Development Modules.
* Show understanding, explain
* Compare and/or contrast
* Predict, recognize cause and effect
* Apply principles
* Synthesize, integrate data from multiple sources
* Justify, formulate relevant arguments and valid conclusions, organize data to support a viewpoint, persuade
* Create an original solution, product, or procedure
When to Use Written Question Types
"Because of the time needed to answer and score essay questions and the limited amount of content that can be covered in them, essay questions should be used only when other types of questions cannot measure accomplishment of the objective(s)." Alabama Professional Development Modules.
"Students can complete a large number of items in a fairly short time... the possibility of guessing the correct answers to these questions is greatly reduced... can be easy to score..." Alabama Professional Development Modules.
Short answer questions
"The use of a short answer question may be preferable to the completion item if it makes the question more specific and leads to the one answer that you are seeking. Also, it may be easier for younger children to respond to a question than to fill in a blank completing a sentence." Alabama Professional Development Modules.