Comparability of TOEFL® CBT Writing Prompts: Response Mode Analyses

Author(s):
Breland, Hunter; Lee, Yong-Won; Muraki, Eiji
Publication Year:
2004
Report Number:
RR-04-23
TOEFL-RR-75
Source:
Document Type:
Subject/Key Words:
Computer-based writing assessment essay prompts comparability fairness response mode logistic regression proportional odds-ratio model

Abstract

Eighty-three TOEFL® computer-based test (CBT) writing prompts that were administered between July 1998 and August 2000 were examined in order to identify differences in scores that could be attributed to the response mode chosen by examinees (handwritten or word processed). Differences wereexamined statistically using polytomous logistic regression. An English language ability (ELA) variable was developed from the multiple-choice components of the TOEFL examination and used as a matching variable. Although there was little observed difference in mean writing scores, when examinees were matched on English language ability, small differences were observed in effect sizes consistently favoring the handwritten response mode. The difference favoring the handwritten response mode occurred for all of the writing prompts analyzed; however, the differences for individual writing prompts were small. This difference suggests a general effect for response mode.

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