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An Evaluation of the Feasibility of Confidence Testing As a Diagnostic Aid in Technical Training

Echternacht, Gary J.; Sellman, Wayne S.; Boldt, Robert F.; Young, Joseph D.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
United States Air Force Human Resources Laboratory, Confidence Testing, Prediction Studies, Program Effectiveness, Technical Education


This report describes a study to determine the feasibility and the cost-effectiveness of using confidence testing as a diagnostic aid in technical training programs. Two types of confidence testing, Pick-One and Distribute 100 Points, were developed for comparison to conventional multiple-choice testing. The study was carried out in two technical training courses, Aerospace Ground Equipment Repairman (AGE) and Jet Engine Mechanic (JEM), currently being taught at Chanute Air Force Base, Illinois. The criteria for feasibility included end of block examination grades, number of student remediational sessions, and both student and instructor attitudes. In addition, the relationship of various personality variables to confidence test scores was examined for both types of confidence testing. The major finding was that while scoring was somewhat more time consuming, end of block examination grades improved slightly and the number of remediations required declined slightly when either confidence testing method was employed. Other areas of investigation produced essentially null results. (44pp.)

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