Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users, please click the view more button below to purchase a copy of this dissertation from Proquest.

(Some titles may also be available free of charge in our Open Access Dissertation Collection, so please check there first.)

Development and evaluation of test assembly procedures for computerized adaptive testing

Frederic Robin, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Computerized adaptive testing provides a flexible and efficient framework for the assembly and administration of on-demand tests. However, the development of practical test assembly procedures that can ensure desired measurement, content, and security objectives for all individual tests, has proved difficult. To address this challenge, desirable test specifications, such as minimum test information targets, minimum and maximum test content attributes, and item exposure limits, were identified. Five alternative test assembly procedures where then implemented, and extensive computerized adaptive testing simulations were conducted under various test security and item pool size conditions. All five procedures implemented were modeled based on the weighted deviation model and optimized to produce the most acceptable compromise between testing objectives. As expected, the random (RD) and maximum information (MI) test assembly procedures resulted in the least acceptable tests—producing either the most informative but least secure and efficient tests or the most efficient and secure but least informative tests—illustrating the need for compromise between competing objectives. The combined maximum information item selection and Sympson-Hetter unconditional exposure control procedure (MI-SH) allowed for more acceptable compromise between testing objectives but demonstrated only moderate levels of test security and efficiency. The more sophisticated combined maximum information and Stocking and Lewis conditional exposure control procedure (MI-SLC) demonstrated both high levels of testing security and efficiency while providing acceptable measurement. Results obtained with the combined maximum information and stochastic conditional exposure control procedure (MI-SC) were similar to those obtained with MI-SLC. However, MI-SC offers the advantage of not requiring extensive preliminary simulations and allows for more flexibility in the removal or replacement of faulty items from operational pools. The importance of including minimum test information targets in the testing objectives was supported by the relatively large variability of test information observed for all the test assembly procedures used. Failure to take this problem into account when test assembly procedures are operationalized is likely to results in the administration of sub-standard tests to many examinees. Concerning pool management, it was observed that increasing pool size beyond what is needed to satisfy all testing objectives actually reduced testing efficiency.

Subject Area

Educational evaluation

Recommended Citation

Robin, Frederic, "Development and evaluation of test assembly procedures for computerized adaptive testing" (2001). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3000336.