TitleDetermining the Overall Impact of Interruptions During Online Testing
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsSinharay, S, Wan, P, Whitaker, M, Kim, D-I, Zhang, L, Choi, SW
JournalJournal of Educational Measurement

With an increase in the number of online tests, interruptions during testing due to unexpected technical issues seem unavoidable. For example, interruptions occurred during several recent state tests. When interruptions occur, it is important to determine the extent of their impact on the examinees’ scores. There is a lack of research on this topic due to the novelty of the problem. This article is an attempt to fill that void. Several methods, primarily based on propensity score matching, linear regression, and item response theory, were suggested to determine the overall impact of the interruptions on the examinees’ scores. A realistic simulation study shows that the suggested methods have satisfactory Type I error rate and power. Then the methods were applied to data from the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress-Plus (ISTEP+) test that experienced interruptions in 2013. The results indicate that the interruptions did not have a significant overall impact on the student scores for the ISTEP+ test.