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Automated Item Selection Using Item Response Theory IRT

Stocking, Martha L.; Swanson, Len; Pearlman, Mari
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Item Banks, Item Response Theory (IRT), Programing, Test Construction


This paper presents a new heuristic approach to interactive test assembly that is called the successive item replacement algorithm. This approach builds on the work of van der Linden (1987) and van der Linden and Boekkooi-Timminga (1989) in which methods of mathematical optimization are combined with Item Response Theory (IRT) to construct tests from larger collections or pools of items. This new approach is contrasted with two more formal models as well as other heuristic approaches that appear in the literature. An experiment using quasi-realistic data is performed that serves to illustrate the differences in approaches for typical practical test construction applications.

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