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If examinees are permitted to choose to answer a subset of the questions on a test, just knowing which questions were chosen can provide a measure of proficiency that may be as reliable as would have been obtained from the test graded traditionally. This new method of scoring is much less time consuming and expensive for both the examinee and the testing organization. Moreover, because of the decreased response burden, it may be expected that its use may reduce the nonresponse rate in such low impact educational assessments as the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). It is recommended that in assessments that allow the examinee to choose among a set of items, an attempt be made to encourage the examinee to record the item that will be answered before they are actually attempted. In this way, it may be possible to obtain much of the information that would have been contained in the actual responses, even if the examinee chooses finally not to answer. Four tables illustrate the discussion, and a technical appendix discusses calculating the reliability coefficient. (Contains six references.) (Author/SLD)

Descriptors: Adaptive Testing, Cost Effectiveness, Responses, Scoring, Selection, Test Items, Test Use

Autor: Wainer, Howard; Thissen, David


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