TitleMulti-stage Testing for a Multi-disciplined End-of primary-school Test
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsStraat, H, van Groen, M, Zijlstra, W, Keizer-Mittelhaëuser, M-A, Lamoré, M
Conference NameIACAT 2017 Conference
Date Published08/2017
PublisherNiigata Seiryo University
Conference LocationNiigata, Japan
Keywordsmst, Multidisciplined, proficiency

The Dutch secondary education system consists of five levels: basic, lower, and middle vocational education, general secondary education, and pre-academic education. The individual decision for level of secondary education is based on a combination of the teacher’s judgment and an end-of-primaryschool placement test.

This placement test encompasses the measurement of reading, language, mathematics and writing; each skill consisting of one to four subdomains. The Dutch end-of-primaryschool test is currently administered in two linear 200-item paper-based versions. The two versions differ in difficulty so as to motivate both less able and more able students, and measure both groups of students precisely. The primary goal of the test is providing a placement advice for five levels of secondary education. The secondary goal is the assessment of six different fundamental reference levels defined on reading, language, and mathematics. Because of the high stakes advice of the test, the Dutch parliament has instructed to change the format to a multistage test. A major advantage of multistage testing is that the tailoring of the tests is more strongly related to the ability of the students than to the teacher’s judgment. A separate multistage test is under development for each of the three skills measured by the reference levels to increase the classification accuracy for secondary education placement and to optimally measure the performance on the reference-level-related skills.

This symposium consists of three presentations discussing the challenges in transitioning from a linear paper-based test to a computer-based multistage test within an existing curriculum and the specification of the multistage test to meet the measurement purposes. The transitioning to a multistage test has to improve both classification accuracy and measurement precision.

First, we describe the Dutch educational system and the role of the end-of-primary-school placement test within this system. Special attention will be paid to the advantages of multistage testing over both linear testing and computerized adaptive testing, and on practical implications related to the transitioning from a linear to a multistage test.

Second, we discuss routing and reporting on the new multi-stage test. Both topics have a major impact on the quality of the placement advice and the reference mastery decisions. Several methods for routing and reporting are compared.

Third, the linear test contains 200 items to cover a broad range of different skills and to obtain a precise measurement of those skills separately. Multistage testing creates opportunities to reduce the cognitive burden for the students while maintaining the same quality of placement advice and assessment of mastering of reference levels. This presentation focuses on optimal allocation of items to test modules, optimal number of stages and modules per stage and test length reduction.

Session Video 1

Session Video 2