The effects of inclusive and exclusive item response rule options on item difficulty and discrimination in multiple choice tests
The paper investigates the effects of exclusive (all of the above (AOTA)) and inclusive (none of the above (NOTA)) item rule options on item difficulty and discrimination of multiple choice tests. The study adopted experimental research design. Forty multiple-choice economics items adapted from the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination were used for the study. Three item formats were used. Homogeneous contained the question in its original format without NOTA/AOTA option; Key used NOTA/AOTA option as the correct answer; and distractor had NOTA/AOTA option as an incorrect answer. The results showed that items with NOTA and AOTA alternatives required more thinking from examinees than those with specific alternatives. NOTA and AOTA options have psychometric significance in multiple choice tests, therefore, the effect of NOTA and AOTA should be taken into consideration in item writing. Thus, item writers should endeavour to generate enough options to avoid the use of these options.
Keywords: Inclusive options, Exclusive options, Item discrimination, Item difficulty, Multiple-choice tests