TitleEvaluating the usefulness of computerized adaptive testing for medical in-course assessment
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsKreiter, CD, Ferguson, K, Gruppen, LD
JournalAcademic Medicine
Date PublishedOct
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number1040-2446 (Print)
Accession Number10536635
Keywords*Automation, *Education, Medical, Undergraduate, Educational Measurement/*methods, Humans, Internal Medicine/*education, Likelihood Functions, Psychometrics/*methods, Reproducibility of Results

PURPOSE: This study investigated the feasibility of converting an existing computer-administered, in-course internal medicine test to an adaptive format. METHOD: A 200-item internal medicine extended matching test was used for this research. Parameters were estimated with commercially available software with responses from 621 examinees. A specially developed simulation program was used to retrospectively estimate the efficiency of the computer-adaptive exam format. RESULTS: It was found that the average test length could be shortened by almost half with measurement precision approximately equal to that of the full 200-item paper-and-pencil test. However, computer-adaptive testing with this item bank provided little advantage for examinees at the upper end of the ability continuum. An examination of classical item statistics and IRT item statistics suggested that adding more difficult items might extend the advantage to this group of examinees. CONCLUSIONS: Medical item banks presently used for incourse assessment might be advantageously employed in adaptive testing. However, it is important to evaluate the match between the items and the measurement objective of the test before implementing this format.

Short TitleAcad Med