David DiBattista

Professor, Ph.D. (Waterloo)
3M National Teaching Fellow (2007)

My primary area of interest relates to the use of multiple-choice (MC) questions in higher education. Because MC testing is so widely used in Canadian universities and colleges, it is critical that instructors make effective use of this assessment technique. An important part of my professional activity involves making presentations in which I provide my teaching colleagues with practical tips about MC testing that they can start using immediately in their teaching. Over the past several years, I have made presentations at dozens of colleges and universities across Canada. In addition, I have served as a consultant to provincial and federal government agencies, and I provide training to the authors and editors involved in preparing MC test banks for Nelson Education.

Multiple-choice Questions 
Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

My presentations cover a range of topics, including the following:

  • Guidelines for writing effective MC items
  • Writing items that assess higher-level cognitive skills rather than rote memory
  • Using statistical item analysis to improve the quality of your MC tests
  • Using MC items in formative assessment

If you would like more information about my multiple-choice presentations, please contact me at david.dibattista@brocku.ca.

Having taught an introductory course in statistics for many years, I am also interested in teaching techniques that can help students to better understand some of the more difficult aspects of probability. Several years ago, I partnered with Brock University’s Multimedia Production & Innovation Centre to develop a computer-based learning object dealing with the Monty Hall Dilemma. Named after the host of the old game show Let’s Make a Deal, the Monty Hall Dilemma is a two-stage conditional probability problem presented in a game-show format. It has a counterintuitive solution, and people do not readily achieve the solution even after many trials. You may access the award-winning Monty Hall Dilemma Learning Object by clicking on the button you see below. Research with students in my introductory statistics class has shown the learning object to be very effective in helping them to understand the probabilities that underlie the Monty Hall Dilemma. The reference for this research is provided below.

If you would like to try the Monty Hall Dilemma Learning Object, simply click on the box you see below. Teachers may feel free to use the learning object for educational purposes.

DiBattista, D., & Kurzawa, L. (2011). Examination of the quality of multiple-choice items on classroom tests. The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 2(2), Article 4 (23 pages). Free download at: http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/cjsotl_rcacea/vol2/iss2/4.

DiBattista, D. (2011). Evaluation of a digital learning object for the Monty Hall dilemma. Teaching of Psychology, 38, 53-59.

DiBattista, D., Gosse, L., Sinnige-Egger, J., Candale, B., & Sargeson, K. (2009). Grading scheme, test difficulty, and the Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique. Journal of Experimental Education, 77, 311-336.

DiBattista, D. (2008). Making the most of multiple-choice questions: Getting beyond remembering. Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching, 1, 119-122.

DiBattista, D., & Gosse, L. (2006). Test anxiety and the Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique. Journal of Experimental Education, 74, 311-327.

DiBattista, D. (2005). The Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique: A learner-centered multiple-choice response form. Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 35, 111-131.

DiBattista, D., Mitterer, J.O., and Gosse, L. (2004). Acceptance by undergraduates of the Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique for multiple-choice testing. Teaching in Higher Education, 9, 17-28.