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The Four Generations of Computerized Educational Measurement CAT

Bunderson, C. Victor; Inouye, Dillon K.; Olsen, James B.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Adaptive Testing, Computer Assisted Testing, Computer Managed Instruction, Test Construction


Recent developments in computerized measurement are summarized by placing them in a four-generation framework, in which each generation represents a genus of increasing sophistication and power: Generation 1. Computerized testing (CT): administering conventional tests by computer; Generation 2. Computerized adaptive testing (CAT): tailoring the difficulty or contents of the next piece presented or an aspect of the timing of the next item on the basis of examinees' responses; Generation 3. Continuous measurement (CM): using calibrated measures embedded in a curriculum to continuously and unobtrusively estimate dynamic changes in the student's achievement trajectory and profile as a learner; and Generation 4. Intelligent measurement (IM): producing intelligent scoring, interpretation of individual profiles, and advice to learners and teachers, by means of knowledge bases and inferencing procedures. While acknowledging the obvious pitfalls associated with proposing a framework in a developing field, the authors hope that the suggested framework will provide an ad interim contribution to the field's universe of discourse and facilitate communication about the rapidly developing issues. (153pp.)

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