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CATs, Testlets, and Test Construction: A Rationale for Putting Test Developers Back into CAT CAT

Wainer, Howard; Kiely, Gerard L.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Adaptive Testing, Computer Assisted Testing, Test Construction, Test Format, Testing Problems


It is observed that many sorts of difficulties preclude the uneventful construction of tests by a computerized algorithm, such as those currently in favor in Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT). In this essay we discuss a number of these problems as well as some possible avenues of solution. We conclude with the development of the "testlet", a bundle of items that can be arranged either hierarchically or linearly, which maintains the efficiency of an adaptive test while simultaneously keeping the quality control of test construction that is only possible currently with careful expert scrutiny. (45pp.)

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