TitleItem selection in computerized adaptive testing: Should more discriminating items be used first?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsHau, K-T, Chang, H-H
JournalJournal of Educational Measurement
Publication Languageeng
Keywordsability, Adaptive Testing, Computer Assisted Testing, Estimation, Statistical, Test Items computerized adaptive testing

During computerized adaptive testing (CAT), items are selected continuously according to the test-taker's estimated ability. Test security has become a problem because high-discrimination items are more likely to be selected and become overexposed. So, there seems to be a tradeoff between high efficiency in ability estimations and balanced usage of items. This series of four studies addressed the dilemma by focusing on the notion of whether more or less discriminating items should be used first in CAT. The first study demonstrated that the common maximum information method with J. B. Sympson and R. D. Hetter (1985) control resulted in the use of more discriminating items first. The remaining studies showed that using items in the reverse order, as described in H. Chang and Z. Yings (1999) stratified method had potential advantages: (a) a more balanced item usage and (b) a relatively stable resultant item pool structure with easy and inexpensive management. This stratified method may have ability-estimation efficiency better than or close to that of other methods. It is argued that the judicious selection of items, as in the stratified method, is a more active control of item exposure. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA )