Description: Are computer-administered versions of a multiple choice paper-pencil test equivalent? This study determined whether there were any significant differences between taking a traditional pencil-paper test and taking the same test using a computer. The literature has shown that there are intervening variables that have caused differences when not controlled. To prove equivalency between test modes, scores have to have similar means, dispersions, and shapes; the ranked-order of the scores must also be similar. Four tests were given over the course of a 16-week semester. The sample was divided, half taking paper-pencil tests and half taking the same test administered by a computer. The mode of administration was switched with each test administration. The analysis showed that, when the intervening variables were controlled, the two modes of administration were equivalent. The analysis used a 2x4 ANOVA, which showed no difference between test modes, but showed that each test administration was significantly different. The Levene statistic was used to test whether dispersions were equivalent and confidence intervals were established to test the kurtosis and skewness statistics. Finally, each of the test scores were transformed into their Normal Curve Equivalents so that Pearson's coefficient could be used to determine the equivalency of the ranked-orders.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Whitworth, Clifford K.