Uncertainties in the item parameter estimates and robust automated test assembly

Veldkamp, Bernard P. ; Matteucci, Mariagiulia ; de Jong, Martijn (2012) Uncertainties in the item parameter estimates and robust automated test assembly. [Preprint]
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Abstract

IRT parameters have to be estimated, and because of the estimation process, they do have uncertainty in them. In most large scale testing programs, the parameters are stored in item banks, and automated test assembly algorithms are applied to assemble operational test forms. These algorithms treat item parameters as fixed values, and uncertainty is not taken into account. As a consequence, resulting tests might be off target or less informative than expected. In this paper, the process of parameter estimation is described to provide insight into the causes of uncertainty in the item parameters. The consequences of uncertainty are studied. Besides, an alternative automated test assembly algorithm is presented that is robust against uncertainties in the data. Several numerical examples demonstrate the performance of the robust test assembly algorithm, and illustrate the dangers of not taking this uncertainty into account. Finally, some recommendations about the use of robust test assembly and some directions for further research are given.

Abstract
Document type
Preprint
Creators
CreatorsAffiliationORCID
Veldkamp, Bernard P.
Matteucci, Mariagiulia
de Jong, Martijn
Keywords
Automated test assembly, Computerized adaptive testing, Item parameter estimation, Item response theory, Robust optimization, Robust test assembly, Uncertainty.
Subjects
DOI
Deposit date
13 Mar 2012 09:20
Last modified
05 Apr 2012 09:53
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