Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on Covid 19 Challenges April 2021                       Pp. 160-171
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/covid.12

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Tapping into Bloom Taxonomy’s Higher-Order Cognitive Processes: The Case for Multiple
Choice Questions as a Valid Assessment Tool in the ESP Classroom
 

Iryna Lenchuk
Department of English Language and Literature
College of Arts and Applied Sciences, Dhofar University
Salalah, The Sultanate of Oman
Corresponding Author: ilenchuk@du.edu.om

Amer Ahmed
Department of English Language and Literature
College of Arts and Applied Sciences, Dhofar University
Salalah, The Sultanate of Oman

 

Received:  3/4/2021                Accepted: 4/1/2021                    Published: 4/26/2021

 

Abstract:
This article describes the results of Action Research conducted in an ESP classroom of Dhofar University located in Oman. Following the call of Oman Vision 2040 to emphasize educational practices that promote the development of higher-order cognitive processes, this study raises the following question: Can an online multiple choice question (MCQ) quiz tap into the higher-order cognitive skills of apply, analyze and evaluate? This question was also critical at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic when Omani universities switched to the online learning mode. The researchers administered an online MCQ quiz to 35 undergraduate students enrolled in an ESP course for Engineering and Sciences. The results showed that MCQ quizzes could be developed to tap into higher-order thinking skills when the stem of the MSQ is developed as a task or a scenario. The study also revealed that students performed better on MCQs that tap into low-level cognitive skills. This result can be attributed to the prevalent practice in Oman to develop assessment tools that tap only into a level of Bloom’s taxonomy, which involves the cognitive process of retrieving memorized information. The significance of the study lies in its pedagogical applications. The study calls for the use of teaching and assessment practices that target the development of higher-order thinking skills, which is aligned with the country’s strategic direction reflected in Oman vision 2040.
Keywords: Bloom’s taxonomy, critical thinking skills, COVID-19 pandemic, ESP, multiple choice
questions (MCQs), Oman vision 2040, online assessment

Cite as:  Lenchuk, I., & Ahmed, A.  (2021). Tapping into Bloom Taxonomy’s Higher-Order Cognitive Processes: The Case for Multiple Choice Questions as a Valid Assessment Tool in the ESP Classroom.  Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on Covid 19 Challenges (1) 160-171.
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/covid.12

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Iryna Lenchuk is an Assistant Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, Dhofar University. Her research interests include task-based instruction, interlanguage pragmatics, and pedagogy and methodology of second and foreign language learning. She has been teaching ESL, TESL and courses in applied linguistics in Canada and Oman. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9248-5636

Amer Ahmed is an Assistant Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, Dhofar University. His research interests are in the areas of linguistic interfaces, second language acquisition, second language pedagogy and methodology, and Arabic diglossia.  He has been teaching ESL and courses in linguistics in Canada and Oman. https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2455-1790