Table of Contents

Selected-Response vs. Constructed-Response Assessment Methods

Meet Mr. Bumble.

Mr. Bumble is a hard-working “every teacher.” He struggles with how to assess his students and often shows you what not to do. You will read about Mr. Bumble’s exploits throughout this unit.

Mr. Bumble realizes that he needs to improve his classroom assessments. He thinks the way to do this is to choose between selected- or constructed-response methods. So, he compares the two to find out which one is better for classroom assessments.




(e.g., multiple choice, true/false, matching)



(e.g., short answer, essay)


  • Easier to score
  • Can be answered quickly
  • Covers a broader range of curriculum in a shorter time
  • Allows students to demonstrate complex, in-depth understanding
  • Less likelihood of guessing correct answer
  • Motivates students to learn in a way that stresses the organization of information, principles, and application


  • Constrains students to single appropriate answer
  • Encourages students to learn by recognition
  • Subject to guessing correct answer
  • More time-consuming to score
  • More time-consuming to answer

EUREKA! Mr. Bumble realizes there are advantages and disadvantages of both methods. But now he’s confused about when he should use which one.

Time to Check

If Mr. Bumble asked you, how would you answer him? You might recall the Target-Assessment Method Match table from Unit 4 which emphasized that the key determination in selecting the type of assessment method is how well it measures the type of learning target. 

Select the icon to review the Target-Assessment Method Match Table.