ITEM-WRITING GUIDELINES for the NUTRITION COLLEGE BOWL
PLEASE REVIEW THE FOLLOWING GUIDELINES BEFORE SUBMITTING A QUESTION
• All questions should be in short answer format. No multiple choice, true/false, etc. There should only be one clear answer to each question. Avoid statements that are answered equally well by several terms.
• Please make sure to include an answer for each question. If there is more than one acceptable answer, be sure to include all possibilities that would be accepted.
• All items should reference available published material when appropriate. Be sure to reference the source of the information or the authority especially when different sources of the same information are available: “According to the Food Guide Pyramid….
• Avoid use of personal pronouns (“what should you do first” vs “what should a researcher do first”)
• Keep it simple – reading level should be appropriate. Don’t make the question so long and convoluted that team members will not be able to comprehend or remember parts of the question as it is read to them.
• Questions should not be purposefully tricky, artificially difficult or unnecessarily complicated. Avoid extraneous information (red herrings or window dressings) in the question.
• The questions should not be biased based upon age, socioeconomic status, gender ethnicity, religion, culture, geography or institutional differences. (We have institutions from states other than CA participating in this event so asking CA specific questions is not appropriate)
• The items should be written clearly with respect to use of nouns vs. pronouns (“it”, “they”, vs. “the disease”, “the agency”).
• The wording/grammar in the question should not provide clues to the answer ("a/an" "is/are").
• Questions should not use language taken verbatim from course materials or textbooks.
• Avoid overly technical jargon, slang, abbreviations or acronyms unless they are uniformly and clearly understood and accepted.
• Questions should not include words indicating absolutes (always, never, etc.) or indefinite qualifiers (may, might, some, rarely, sometimes, usually, often, likely)
• A direct question is often more desirable than an incomplete statement. If you do create an incomplete statement or fill in the blank, the blank space should usually occur at the end of the statement rather than at the beginning or in the middle.
• If the question requires a numerical answer, indicate the units in which it is to be expressed.
Indefinite question: What is a red corpuscle? _________________
-Better: What structure in the blood carries oxygen to the cells of the human body?____________
-Best: Which of the cells found in the human body carries oxygen to all other living cells?______________
Biased grammar: An ____________ weighs less than a pound.
-Better: What unit of measurement is exactly 1/16th of a pound? _________
Blank in middle of sentence: When a small piece of sodium metal is dropped into
water,___________is given off in gaseous form.
-Better: What gas is given off when a small piece of sodium is dropped into water?
More than one answer:
Name the three basic branches of government.
Executive, Legislative, Judicial
-Better: Name any two of the three basic branches of government.
Executive, Legislative, Judicial (any combination of the two)
Unclear: Columbus landed in this continent in __________ .
-Better: Columbus landed in this continent in the year _________ .
-Best: In what year did Columbus land in this continent?
- Questions must fall under a domain in the REGISTRATION EXAMINATION FOR DIETITIANS STUDY OUTLINE found here: http://bit.ly/nI0ako
- Include source/reference for your question and answer