Multiple-choice questionnaire assessments: do they have a role in assessing law students?

Sean Whittaker (Lead / Corresponding author), Tarik Olcay

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In the UK there has been a resistance to using multiple-choice questionnaire (MCQ) assessments to assess undergraduate students. This resistance is based on traditional legal pedagogy and the needs of the legal profession. However, the use of MCQ-style assessments by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and other shifts in legal education make it necessary to reflect on the role that MCQs could play in assessing law students. This article seeks to contribute to this discussion by providing a pedagogical analysis of the assessment strategy of the “Public Law I–Sources of Power” module at the University of Dundee. First, the article sets out Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy and its applicability to legal education. The article then applies this taxonomy to identify the complexity of the module’s learning outcomes and its assessments, as well as considering the extent to which they align with each other. The article finds that while MCQs cannot contribute to all of a module’s learning outcomes, they do provide some pedagogical value in assessing law students, particularly when implemented in parallel with other assessment methods. The article concludes by reflecting on the broader position of MCQs and their role in assessing undergraduate students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-353
Number of pages19
JournalLaw Teacher
Issue number3
Early online date11 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • assessment pedagogy
  • Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy
  • Multiple-choice questionnaire

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Law


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