Just how bad is the idea of using a multiple choice exam to evaluate competence? The faulty attempts at logic used to justify the continuing use multiple choice exams as the final knowledge exam give us an idea.
The NREMT is forced to evaluate applicants by testing, since they are a certifying agency.
The NREMT (National Registry of EMTs or National Registry) chooses to compete in the for profit testing market.
Part of the NREMT’s accreditation requires they ensure the competence of their applicants.
Do they actually claim to ensure the competence of applicants?
No. We only ensure that there is documentation of jumping through hoops that we pretend represent competence.
A multiple choice exam does not even come close to ensuring competence.
We come up with more complicated questions, in an effort to evaluate knowledge, but we are using the wrong method. I could chant very complicated magic spells, but magic doesn’t work. A simple magic spell doesn’t work. A complicated magic spell doesn’t work.
It doesn’t matter how ornate the test. Multiple choice is the wrong choice.
Until there is a better way to do that than a multiple choice test, the NREMT will continue to administer that test.
Is there any reason to believe that a multiple choice test, which discriminates in favor of those who are good at avoiding the answers designed to be misleading, is any better at assessing competence?
The continuing reliance on the multiple choice format demonstrates that the National Registry does not understand assessment of ability. More weight is given to the appearance of objectivity, than to the result.
Without a test of some sort, there is no NREMT.
EMS does not exist for the NREMT. The National Registry exists for EMS. We are responsible for our own dissolution.
Consider the multiple choice test as the food we eat.
Humans need energy, so I am forced to eat.
I am forced to consume calories by eating, since humans are calorie-burning creatures.
Part of my metabolism requires that I ensure the adequacy of my food intake.
Until there is a better better food than Twinkies, I will continue to live on Twinkies.
This is a more obvious non sequitur than CCC’s, but the premise does not support the conclusion in his example, either.
I am being reasonable. I make some introductory nutrition-related comments, then I just claim that Twinkies are the best and I ignore the possibility that Twinkies are not the best, therefore Twinkies are the best.
Case closed. Twinkies Rule!
I think the claim that there is no better food than Twinkies is just as absurd as the claim that there is no better way to evaluate competence than a multiple choice test.
In what universe is a multiple choice test the best of all possible ways of evaluating competence?
The same universe in which Twinkies are the best of all possible foods.