TitleItem Response Time on Task Effect in CAT
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsShi, Y
Conference NameIACAT 2017 Conference
Date Published08/2017
PublisherNiigata Seiryo University
Conference LocationNiigata, Japan
KeywordsCAT, Response time, Task effect

Introduction. In addition to reduced test length and increased measurement efficiency, computerized adaptive testing (CAT) can provide new insights into the cognitive process of task completion that cannot be mined via conventional tests. Response time is a primary characteristic of the task completion procedure. It has the potential to inform us about underlying processes. In this study, the relationship between response time and response accuracy will be investigated.

Hypothesis. The present study argues that the relationship between response time on task and response accuracy, which may be positive, negative, or curvilinear, will depend on cognitive nature of task items, holding ability of the subjects and difficulty of the items constant. The interpretations regarding the associations are not uniform either.

Research question. Is there a homogeneous effect of response time on test outcome across Graduate

Proposed explanations. If the accuracy of cognitive test responses decreases with response time, then it is an indication that the underlying cognitive process is a degrading process such as knowledge retrieval. More accessible knowledge can be retrieved faster than less accessible knowledge. It is inherent to knowledge retrieval that the success rate declines with elapsing response time. For instance, in reading tasks, the time on task effect is negative and the more negative, the easier a task is. However, if the accuracy of cognitive test responses increases with response time, then the process is of an upgrading nature, with an increasing success rate as a function of response time. For example, problem-solving takes time, and fast responses are less likely to be well-founded responses. It is of course also possible that the relationship is curvilinear, as when an increasing success rate is followed by a decreasing success rate or vice versa.

Methodology. The data are from computer-based GRE quantitative and verbal tests and will be analyzed with generalized linear mixed models (GLMM) framework after controlling the effect of ability and item difficulty as possible confounding factors. A linear model means a linear combination of predictors determining the probability of person p for answering item i correctly. The models are equivalent with advanced IRT models that go beyond the regular modeling of test responses in terms of one or more latent variables and item parameters. The lme4 package for R will be utilized to conduct the statistical calculation.

Implications. The right amount of testing time in CAT is important—too much is wasteful and costly, too little impacts score validity. The study is expected to provide new perception on the relationship between response time and response accuracy, which in turn, contribute to a better understanding of time effects and relevant cognitive process in CA.

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