Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Academic and Bar Support Scholarship Spotlight

Jane Bloom Grisé, Question #1:  Is there a Gender Gap in Performance on Multiple Choice Exams, Women's Rights L. Rptr. (forthcoming, 2021).

From the abstract:

There is a growing trend among law professors to assess students using multiple-choice tests. However, women do not perform as well as men on multiple-choice tests. Despite the overwhelming evidence that the multiple-choice format underpredicts women’s academic performance, there is no comprehensive analysis of this problem in legal education. This article provides advice to a law professor who is trying to decide on an appropriate testing format. The professor wants to grade fairly, efficiently, and prepare students for the bar exam. The article first reviews basic testing principles and the historical development of multiple-choice tests. The article then examines how women consistently score lower than men on all types of multiple-choice exams, how these tests underpredict women’s true academic potential, and how this gender disparity has a continuing impact on women’s employment opportunities. After examining legal requirements surrounding testing, the article recommends wider use of Title IX compliance reviews and self-assessments to decrease barriers for women. The article concludes by discussing the significance of gender performance differences for law school assessment and recommends that professors avoid multiple-choice only formats.

(Louis Schulze, FIU Law)


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