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Detecting Construct-Irrelevant Variance in an Open-Ended, Computerized Mathematics Task

Author(s):
Gallagher, Ann M.; Bennett, Randy Elliot; Laitusis, Cara Cahalan
Publication Year:
2000
Report Number:
GREB-95-13P, RR-00-18
Source:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Report
Page Count:
22
Subject/Key Words:
Computer-Based Testing (CBT) Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) Graduate Record Examinations Board Item Sets Mathematics

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether variance due to computer-based presentation was associated with performance on a new constructed-response type--Mathematical Expression--that requires examinees to build mathematical expressions using a mouse and an on- screen tool palette. Participants took parallel computer-based and paper-based tests consisting of Mathematical Expression items, plus a test of their skill in entering and editing data using the computer interface. Comparisons of mean performance, reliability, speededness, and relations with external indicators were conducted across the paper-based and computer-based tests; also, computer-based math score was regressed on edit/entry score after controlling for paper-and- pencil math score and background information. Although no statistical evidence of construct-irrelevant variance was detected, some examinees reported mechanical difficulties in responding and indicated a preference for the paper-and-pencil test.

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