New Book Examines Use, Challenges of Computerized Multistage Testing

PRINCETON, N.J., June 9, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Twenty-three members of ETS's Research & Development (R&D) division plus 25 distinguished contributors from the United States, Canada and Europe have authored a new book on the design, use and challenges of computerized multistage testing.

Computerized Multistage Testing: Theory and Applications, recently published by Chapman & Hall/CRC, is edited by ETS's Duanli Yan, Manager of Data Analysis and Computational Research for Automated Scoring; Alina A. von Davier, Research Director of the Center for Advanced Psychometrics; and Charles Lewis, Distinguished Presidential Appointee in Statistics and Psychometric Research.

The book is geared for educational measurement scientists, psychologists and social scientists, and is one of the first comprehensive sources of information on the design, psychometrics, implementation and operational use of computerized multistage testing (MST) — an alternative to computerized adaptive testing (CAT).

"Computerized MST is an algorithm-based approach to administering tests," explains Yan. "The algorithm interactively selects questions in groups for a test taker, and builds the test in stages. A version of MST is currently being used in the administration of the GRE® revised General Test."

The book covers the methodologies, underlying technology and implementation of this type of test design. Highlights include:

  • a historical overview of MST
  • an examination of critical areas of research inquiry such as test design and implementation for various purposes
  • item pool development and maintenance, and the most recent practical applications and challenges 
  • how to apply theoretical statistical tools to testing in novel and useful ways

"Clearly, the virtues of MST design are being recognized, although challenges remain," writes Senior Vice President of Research & Development Ida Lawrence in the foreword.

"This volume takes an important step forward in preparing us for these challenges by examining foundational issues that cut across different types of methodological and operational situations, and delving into issues that are particularly germane to different classes of adaptive testing."  

According to the editors, many well-known experts in the education field shared their insights based upon their vast breadth of expertise. Their broad spectrum of work includes the examination of issues ranging from test design, implementation, assembly, and security, and practical implementations and applications in the world of large-scale operational assessments. Topics also include proficiency examination, certification examination, K–12 assessment, U.S. and international survey assessments, as well as software tools for MST simulations.

To shed further light on various aspects of assessment design, ETS is the co-organizer, host and sponsor of the International Association for Computerized Adaptive Testing (IACAT) Summit, which will take place October 8–10 in Princeton, N.J. This year's theme is "Facing and Solving Educational and Psychological Measurement Challenges in the 21st Century." Robert J. Mislevy, Frederic M. Lord Chair in Measurement and Statistics at ETS, is among the keynote speakers. Conference information is available at: http://iacat.org/conference/

Computerized Multistage Testing may be ordered from Chapman & Hall/CRC at: http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781466505773

About ETS
At ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, secondary and postsecondary education, and by conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded as a nonprofit in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually — including the TOEFL® and TOEIC ® tests, the GRE ® tests and The Praxis Series ® assessments — in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide. www.ets.org

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